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July 25, 2012

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I am absolutely bewildered by all this denominational ruling of The Church of Jesus Christ. As I understand christianity there is only one head, one ruler and that is Christ. Where do all these hundreds of denominational authorities come from? Who authorized them to make decisions for individual believers. These mini-papacies seem to be the devil's advocates in their pronouncements as to what is acceptable or not. Whatever happened to the independent churches? Why do we have to belong to some "big organization?"
Look at the early church. They were all independent of one another. The Ephesians made no decisions for the Corinthians nor the Galatians. Yes Paul consulted with the church at Jerusalem but it was for advice only not policy.
It doesn't bode well when the members of a denomination are led to the left and to the right and every which way except the straight and narrow way unless of course they are goats and not sheep and do not have the Spirit of Truth residing in them.

People haven't changed much at all. They're still running from the Truth.

The liberals think that they can do the works of God by advocating for social justice, equality, fairness, tolerance, and other works of (self) righteousness, etc.

But sadly, they have not obeyed Christ, who says that "the work of God is that you believe in him whom he has sent."

The liberals are faithless and lacking the "obedience of faith" are thus disobedient.

They must not read the Bible at all. How could you have never come across 1 Corinthians 6 and be a leader in your church? Baffling!

Nice article Melinda. It serves to illustrate that some portions of the church are so steeped in the culture of our time that consulting the bible for church policy decisions has become a mere afterthought. When they finally get around to doing so, there is shock and awe of astonishment as they discover that there is a clash between its teaching and the teaching of the culture that dictates most aspects of their lives. This is usually followed by bewilderment, confusion and finally dumping of all wise council of those who were closest to the ultimate authority(Apostles) on the truth...Jesus. It doesn't matter if the excuse is inclusivism, tolerance or some other rationalization. One thing you can be sure of is that the path will be one of the least cultural resistance...the culturally easy way out.

When I was an Evangelical, 25 years ago, all my Evangelical friends condemned homosexuality. I'm still in touch with them as a Catholic and they tolerate me, but their views on homosexuality (and marriage, and Hell, and fornication, etc.) have changed dramatically.

(I heard one, now a Baptist pastor, preach a few weeks ago from the pulpit that a foetus isn't a person, trying to distance himself from creationism - It was utterly pathetic.)

They still consider themselves 'bible alone' yet now welcome practising homosexuals and fornicators into their congregations. 'Judge not...", they say, because they think they'll convert them by affirming their lifestyles as OK, and the Gospel teaches that Jesus loves everyone. That's called 'bait-and-switch', not evangelism.

All I can say is that I'm glad my Church is fully Biblical, fully Apostolic, and so won't ever change on any of those...

Sadly, your sort of Evangelicalism, and I admire and value the vestiges left as you're of the faction I agreed with - as agreement on Biblical interpretation is the only criterion for acceptance in Protestantism rather than the Authority Christ left his Apostolic Church - will simply die out as Emergentism is so more attractive and powerful (because of the principle of ecclesial consumerism), and is just another faction that thinks it's interpretation is correct. Yet they're working from the same principles you share in common about 'truth'.

My friends like to refer to themselves now as 'Biblically Orthodox', whilst being pro-choice - or morally agnostic - like 'the Witch in Wisconsin', about everything - the logical conclusion of 'Pervasive Intrpretive Pluralism', as Christian Smith terms it.

I returned to the Catholic Church when here, in the UK, American warped Evangelicalism (the sort you attack - which is far more prevalent than your rapidly shrinking viewpoint) was beginning to poison ours with its consumerist approach to truth.

Back then Satan's smoke was just entering the UK Evangelical window, now he's allowed to walk freely in all the separated denominations with ease, teaching biblical drivel through the mouths of biblically illiterate pastors of self-made denominations or 'housechurches'.

The perspicacity of scripture has now been successfully refuted by the spawning of so many translations, too, so I've lost count of how many you've manufactured, and how many more you have in the pipeline, emphasising your partisan interpretations.

In essence, you're just as susceptible as those you're writing about, yet you are in deep denial.

What you're attacking IS Protestantism itself, not Episcopalianism. The denomination is irrelevant.

Every attack you make like this is only an attack on your own foundation and an admission of the ecclesial relativism of your notion of 'invisible church'.

PaulR

I am not surprised that a catholic would say that about Protestantism. There is a little history involved. I find flaws in a lot of viewpoints (including Catholic viewpoints). The original post is evidence again of the great need of humanity for a Saviour. The sacrifice of Christ is sufficient alone for that salvation.

So they weren't aware that this was what the Bible teaches about homosexuality?

Melinda, I think it's pretty obvious that's not what they're saying here.

Given the specific passage cited (1 Cor. 6:9), and given it's the Episcopal Church we're talking about that's released all sorts of information about what it thinks about homosexuality and Scripture, it's more than obvious the issue is with the English word "homosexuality."

Not every New Testament scholar is convinced that "homosexuality" is the most accurate word to use when translating that passage.

This is fairly common knowledge, and I find it incredibly frustrating that STR would twist the meaning of something very obvious into this kind of shell game.

The Episcopalians don't agree with you on your translation of 1 Cor. 6:9. That should be the conclusion of this situation.

Yes, you're correct that there is also disagreement about the authority of the bible, but that's not what's at stake. What's at stake here is how to translate 1 Cor. 6:9 from Greek to English.

Hi squallybimbadine.

"The sacrifice of Christ is sufficient alone for that salvation." I agree. Just as the Bible teaches when interpreted correctly.

Or maybe you're thinking that we believe we can work our way into heaven? Here's the Catholic Biblical position:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlcinxP56AE

PaulR

It's interesting that you picked up on that.

PaulR

"Or maybe you're thinking that we believe we can work our way into heaven? Here's the Catholic Biblical position:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlcinxP56AE"

Very interesting clip. Tell me what you make of:

Ephesians 2:8-9
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

PaulR,

I don't see the need in having a debate that is really unrelated to the topic, but if that clip is what Catholics believe then I am glad that I'm not Catholic. I found this also and wondered what would be the explanation of their meaning if not obvious:


Rom. 3:28-30, "For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. 29Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one."
Rom. 4:5, "But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness,"
Rom. 5:1, "therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,"
Rom. 9:30, "What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith."
Rom. 10:4, "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes."
Rom. 11:6, "But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace."
Gal. 2:16, "nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified."
Gal. 2:21, I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.
Gal. 3:5-6, "Does He then, who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? 6Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness."
Gal. 3:24, "Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith."
Eph. 2:8-9, "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. 9Not by works, lest any man should boast."
Phil. 3:9, "and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith."

squallybimbadine,
That's not fair, you're actually using Scripture! (I'm joking) That is what we have for authority. 2Tim. 3:16-17 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine for reproof, for correction for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."

As a former catholic who experienced God's mercy and grace I seriously considered whether or not I could continue as a catholic. I could not due to all the unbiblical teaching and their "gospel" of works and sacraments and Mary worship and pope worship etc. etc.
I find it "interesting" that PaulR can say "All I can say is that I'm glad my Church is fully Biblical, fully Apostolic, and so won't ever change on any of those..."
It must be a different catholic church.

Peter,

You're right in affirming the authority of scripture. The catholic church has dogma which is created by the church and is not biblical at all. If I wanted to worship idols I'd find something more exciting than catholicism.

The Episcopalians were not disagreeing with the ESV on how to translate 1 Cor 6:9. They already disagreed with Scripture and were using a disingenuous quibble about the translation to cloak their rejection of Biblical teaching.

BTW - Virtually all translations translate the term "arsenokoitai" as variations of either "homosexual" or, in older translations, "abusers of themselves with men". Since the term "homosexual" dates to the second half of the 19th century, it does not surprise me that the older translations do not use it, but prefer "abusers of themselves with men" (which was just the old-fashioned way of saying "homosexual").

There's no case to be made here about the translations.

An observant and straightforward comment, WisdomLover--it goes right to the heart of the matter! Well-said!

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