Tag Archives: Catholic Church

A History Of The Culture Wars

Jared Stacy

Culture War Christianity has long since ossified into the de facto expression of faith for many white American evangelicals. In Part One of this series (which you can find here) we introduced the American Culture Wars. As a whole, this series examines the historical & theological shape of Culture War Christianity in comparison to Jesus’ Kingdom through the lenses of these two camps, conscientious objectors and vocal advocates. We concluded last week with a descriptor: Culture War Christianity tends to make enemies, not love them.

This week, our second part examines the historical orgins of the Culture Wars. If you’re pressed for time, I present a TL;DR that takes 2 minutes, and you can return to read the article at your leisure…

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read Summary)

The key to understanding modern Culture War Christianity is the history of American race relations and Christianity. This article locates the birth…

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Remembrance Project Day 4: Paying it forward

It is not bad to have a look at the way how Roman Catholic teachings can make the lives of its believers oh so difficult and complicated.

They learn that there are 7 sacraments that RC kids can celebrate as they progress through their lives: Baptism, Confession, Communion, Confirmation, Marriage OR Holy Orders, and finally, the Anointing of the Sick, altogether with the goal to have a clean conscience when they die.

In lots of those Catholic Churches they do not take much time to study the Holy Scriptures, but lots of time is given in preparation of the first and second communion and offering their members all sorts of teachings which find their roots in human philosophy and writings from so-called theologists.

Very early in life, those Catholics are frightened with a waystation between our mortal body coil (purgatory)and a so called heaven, many not wondering why they always pray in our Lord’s prayer that God His Kingdom would come on earth as in heaven. Who would then be allowed to live on earth when everybody would go to heaven?

No wonder, many Catholics have difficulty coping with life and death. The writer is made to believe by her priests, that the way you get passage to the pearly gates is by the prayers of the friends and family, chipping away at any stain remaining on their soul, them believing that soul would be a second ‘me’ in themselves, another being that shall leave their body when they die. The writer also thinks that’s what All Souls’ is all about. Perhaps it is that what the Catholic Church wants them to believe. But All Souls, like All Saints, Halloween and the Day of the dead (Dia de los Muertos) are all heathen festivals the God of the Bible does not want to know about.

All lovers of God have to know that when we die our life comes to an end, and then is it finished, too late to do or say anything. Everything we have to do has to happen in this life, in the now and then before we fall asleep in the sleep of the dead.

“4 For him that is joined to all the living there is hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion. 5 For the living know that they shall die; but the dead know not anything, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. 6 Also their love and their hatred and their envy is now perished; neither have they any more a portion forever in anything that is done under the sun. 7 Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works. 8 Let thy garments be always white, and let thy head lack no ointment. 9 Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which He hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity; for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labor which thou hast done under the sun. 10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might, for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave whither thou goest.” (Ec 9:4-10 KJ21)

That the writer doesn’t understand how their prayers are a good restitution for harm done she believes that if you die without having a final confession, you end up in Purgatory, which would mean that God would give those people another punishment after they received their first punishment for their sins, namely death. It also makes their god a very cruel one, loving his children once more being tortured, and this time even by an eternal burning fire.

And why should they pray for the souls in Purgatory as a whole, when it would just be a place of transition and not a permanent state or residence?

The writer questions:

“They can’t repent for their misguided ways anymore, so what if they don’t have anyone to intercede on their behalf?”

This makes us to questions if they do not believe Jesus is the best mediator for them, and why he did not judge them alright for entering the Kingdom straight ahead, when they paid already with their death for their sins, and Jesus also had paid for their sins, at the wooden stake?

 

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Find also to read

  1. Are we taken up into heaven straight after we die?
  2. Where do we go when we die?
  3. Biblical Ambiguity on Death?
  4. Realities concerning Human Life and Death
  5. The Dead — Where Are They? 24 Stories, first death and heavens
  6. What happens when we die?
  7. Autumn, Life and death, grace, regeneration and sanctification
  8. Halloween custom of the nations
  9. Allhallowtide with Halloween, All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day
  10. Dia de Los Muertos – Day of the dead
  11. Is God behind all suffering here on earth
  12. In Coronatime thinking about death
  13. All Souls’ Day
  14. Thought for today November 4th Going to graveyards and people going to dust
  15. Today’s thought “Not stopping doing what is right” (November 5)

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Related

  1. November – a time to remember and a time for confidence rather than presumption
  2. Make the Most of November: 7 Tips
  3. Happy and Blessed All Saints’ Day
  4. Holy Souls
  5. All souls suffrage
  6. From Depths Of Hades, My Relatives Cried To Me
  7. Thought for the Day – 2 November – “Purgatory”
  8. What does the word “purgatory” mean?
  9. Quotes on Purgatory
  10. Uncle Steve Explains Purgatory
  11. Novena for the Holy Souls: Day 9
  12. Devotion to the Souls in Purgatory
  13. Devotion for the Month of November – The Holy Souls in Purgatory
  14. All Souls Vigil Service with Novena and Chaplet for the Dead – Free Options
  15. Thought for the Day – 3 November – The Pain of Purgatory
  16. Prayer for the Faithful Departed
  17. Prayers for the Holy Souls in Purgatory — Lumen Fidei Ministries
  18. The shrine where you can send a card to the deceased
  19. Two Purgatory Anecdotes by Saint John Vianney 
  20. Why do we pray for the dead
  21. Catholic prayer for the most forgotten soul in purgatory
  22. Vatican again extends November indulgences
  23. The truth concerning the holy souls in purgatory

Sweary Parent Chronicles

Photo by ozundunyasina on Pexels.com

I have to say, every year during Hallowtide, I have to look up the difference between All Saints and All Souls.

So what is the actual difference between All Saints and All Souls? All Saints celebrates those who we believe are in heaven. All Souls is for those who haven’t gotten there yet. I’m not sure why my brain steadfastly refuses to store that information. I have far more useless information that bumps on up against the brain pan, and is stuck there for life. I tend to lump all three – Hallowe’en, All Saints’ And All Souls’ days – into the conveniently packaged Hallowtide, but if I’m going to find something pithy for us to chew on, I kinda need to know.

So here’s the thing. There are 7 sacraments that RC kids can celebrate as they progress through their lives: Baptism, Confession, Communion…

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Hitler and Christianity: Some Trends in Interpretation

 

Ryan Buesnel

A question was recently put to me by a reader who was curious to hear my thoughts on whether Hitler should be considered a “Christian” or an “atheist.” What had spurred this on was this reader’s consideration of the somewhat ambiguous topic of “Positive Christianity” — the allegedly Aryanized form of Christian doctrine that was to have served as National Socialism’s official form of religion.

Issues surrounding Hitler’s views on the person of Jesus Christ and the institution of the church are frequently obscured by prior ideological or religious commitments. On the one hand are those who have sought to restore the integrity of Christianity in light of accusations that it played an important historic role in the justification for anti-Semitism. This process of reconstruction required identifying occasions where Nazi ideology was opposed to the normative framework of Christian ethics. The suggestion was that the outcomes of Nazi policy were…

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Concern about the impact over time of Catholic livestreamed Masses

Many religious groups all over the world avoided their members having too much contact with other people and therefore chose to have their religious services online.

As the world fought to contain the spread of CoViD-19, or the coronavirus, in several countries Catholics have been dismayed that public Masses had been cancelled in a large portion of their country, as have weddings, baptisms, first Communions and confirmations. To be deprived of the Holy Eucharist is a terrible blow to Catholics.

While televised and online liturgies were a blessing for many, early in the pandemic and continue to provide benefits for parish ministries, some pastors who spoke with the National Catholic Register expressed concern about the impact over time.

Parishioners sit during Sunday Mass at St. Augustine Catholic Church on August 15, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Parishioners wore face coverings during Mass as part of COVID-19 protocols inside the historic church which is recognized as the oldest Black Catholic parish in the country.
Parishioners sit during Sunday Mass at St. Augustine Catholic Church on August 15, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Parishioners wore face coverings during Mass as part of COVID-19 protocols inside the historic church which is recognized as the oldest Black Catholic parish in the country. (photo: Mario Tama / Getty)

During COVID times, livestreamed Masses have been a blessing to many.

And whether the new Delta variant spikes or fizzles in the coming weeks, coronavirus has already changed many Catholic parishes in the United States.

In the United States of America, like in more Southern countries, much more people still want to go to mass. In Belgium we do find lots of people who are baptised in the Roman Catholic Church, but really do not believe so much, but are only member of that church out of tradition and because they want to have those celebrations of the first and second communion. The state television still keeps screening Roman masses, which made that in coronatime more people could find a church service on television. For other religious groups it was totally different. Several groups tried to organise services on the net, via Zoom or other social media.

In any case, what we could see at the Christadelphian meetings on the net, was that we had more people present at such service than at a real-life service. Providing livestreamed church services or Masses for those who cannot attend in person, due to health concerns and other serious reasons, is likely to remain a mainstay on Christadelphian but also on Catholic worship for some time.

But according to Father Jeffrey Kirby

The virus emergency not only changed the way the parish communicates with parishioners, it has even led it to unexpectedly develop a second constituency, as far-flung as California to the west and Ireland to the east.

Naturally, we all do know that there is No Substitute for The Real Thing.

Please read more how some American Catholic Churches managed the streaming of their services: Virus-Prodded Online Masses Have Changed Many Catholic Parishes — Are They Keeping Some Catholics From Returning to Church?

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Catholic bioethicists form coalition to lobby against hard lockdowns

Catholic and pro-life groups have formed a coalition to lobby for the right of patients to have “reasonable” access to family and clergy during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Health Care Civil Rights Task Force bases its criticism of hard lockdowns on constitutional rights.

The right to religious freedom and the right to visitation intersect in health care when clergy visit patients to provide spiritual care. Denial of visitation from clergy is a violation of both the right to religious freedom and the right of visitation. To prohibit a patient from receiving spiritual healing from clergy and from receiving the sacraments of eternal life during their last moments on this earth is a cruelty completely unjustified by the pandemic and is symptomatic of the radical secularization of modern society.

In its manifesto, the Task Force cites the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of religious exercise. The Attorney-General of the Trump Administration, William Barr, declared in April that: “even in times of emergency, when reasonable and temporary restrictions are placed on rights, the First Amendment and federal statutory law prohibit discrimination against religious institutions and religious believers.”

Catholic discourse about medical ethics has a long history. Based on this experience, the Task Force says: “Morally we are called to use ordinary means and reasonable precautions to preserve our lives without ceasing to fulfill our daily responsibilities. It is vitally important to reiterate this almost self-evident point because a desire to reduce the risk of disease transmission to almost zero has led to fundamental rights being violated.”

The Task Force’s members include National Catholic Bioethics Center president Joseph Meaney, Bobby Schindler (the brother of Terri Schiavo), and officials at the Christ Medicus Foundation and Healthcare Advocacy Leadership Organization.

Michael Cook, editor of BioEdge

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Signs of the times – As the Day approaches

“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people:
and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time” (Daniel 12:1).

The snippets below reflect upon signs of the times to inform and give warning of the trials and dangers to believers in this “time of trouble.”
Let us be aware of the growing threat to our faithful “endurance to the end,” that we might prepare ourselves to act and respond wisely when tempted or confronted.

Americans Have Little Confidence in Religion, Congress, and the News Media:

Gallup first conducted their “Confidence in Institutions” poll in 1973. Americans have very little confidence in organized religion, Congress or news from the TV, Internet, or newspapers, according to the latest Confidence in Institutions poll. Only 38% of Americans said that they had a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the church or organized religion. Conservatives and Republicans showed more confidence with 52% and 48% confidence respectively. Liberals and Democrats showed less confidence with 31% of Democrats and 21% of liberals expressing confidence. From 1973 to 1985, American confidence in organized religion was higher than confidence in any other institution at above 60%. A sharp fall in confidence in organized religion (down to 45%) was recorded in 2002 when an expose was published by the Boston Globe revealing that Catholic Church leaders had been aware of serial sex abuse by priests and didn’t take strong action.

Confidence in Congress has consistently been relatively low and this year that trend continued with only 11% of Americans expressing a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in Congress. Confidence in newspapers also ranked low in 2019, with only 23% of Americans expressing a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in print media. Only 20% expressed confidence in TV news, and only 16% expressed confidence in Internet news.
The criminal justice system and big business also have low-confidence ratings, with only 24% of respondents expressing confidence in the criminal justice system and 23% of respondents expressing confidence in big business. Americans expressed the strongest level of confidence in the military (73%), small business (68%) and police (53%), continuing a trend of majority levels of confidence in those three institutions for the past two decades.

Jerusalem Post, July 14, 2019 Comment:

This loss of confidence is but another confirmation that we are living in the time of the end. As Jesus prophesied,

“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars [governmental authority; ecclesiastical authority; princes / governors] and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves [the people and nations in rebellion] roaring (Luke 21:25).

Giant Statue of Molech Now Sits at the Entrance to the Colosseum in Rome –

A gigantic statue of a pagan Canaanite deity known as “Molech” has been erected at the entrance to the Colosseum. In ancient times, those that served Molech would sacrifice their children to him. Now a massive statue of this pagan idol is the centerpiece of a new “archaeological exhibition” at the Roman Colosseum (the same Colosseum where countless numbers of Christians were martyred for their faith). What makes this even more shocking is that the Colosseum is controlled by the Vatican. The large-scale exhibition, titled Carthago: The immortal myth, runs until March 29, 2020.

The statue of Moloch was erected nine days prior to the opening of the Amazon Synod, which was plagued with controversy from the beginning after a ceremony in the Vatican Gardens involving the pagan goddess “Pachamama” was held in the presence of Pope Francis and top-ranking prelates.

Image
People bow to Pachamama during pagan rite in Vatican Gardens prior to opening of Amazon Synod, Oct. 4, 2019.

In the ceremony, participants prostrated themselves before wooden statuettes of the fertility goddess indigenous to South America. The statuettes were kept as part of an exhibit in the Church of Santa Maria in Traspontina until they were thrown into the Tiber by Austrian Catholic Alexander Tschugguel on Oct. 21. Afterward, one copy of the mass-produced figures was kept in the church.

The pagan god Moloch next to an exhibition board in the Colosseum, Rome, September 27, 2019, placed in that prime spot so that everyone that entered into the Colosseum had to pass it. The image of Moloch is modeled on a representation of the child-devouring demon found in the 1914 Italian silent film Cabiria. In the film the idol of Moloch, set up in a Punic temple, has a giant bronze furnace in his chest, into which hundreds of children are thrown. Cabiria, the heroine of the film, is threatened with this fiery fate.

Some Catholics are distressed that the pagan god Moloch has been erected at the entrance to the Colosseum, which is one of many amphitheatres where Christians were tortured and executed for the entertainment of the pagan crowds.

“It was like they put Moloch there to mock the sacred place where the holy martyrs spilled their blood for the True Faith!”

The following comment from Breaking Israel News(11-7-2019) reads,

“There is no way that such a thing could be done without permission from the highest levels of the Vatican. The Colosseum of Rome is owned by the Vatican, specifically the Diocese of Rome, also called the Holy See. If anyone wants to do anything there, they must get permission from the office of the Diocese of Rome. This exhibition, called ‘Cathargo: the immortal myth’ could not be held there unless permission was granted at high levels.”

In Jeremiah 32:35 we are told that the people of Israel began worshipping Molech as they fell away from the Lord, And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech;

which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

In Leviticus 18:21, the people of Israel are specifically warned against sacrificing their children to this idol,

And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the Lord

Over the past few years, there seems to have been a concerted effort to put up symbols from ancient pagan religions in key locations all over the globe. This includes erecting the “arch of Baal” in both Washington D.C. and New York City in 2016.

The original Arch of Palmyra in Syria was the ancient arched entrance to the Temple of Baal. It was destroyed in 2015- by ISIS ironically enough. An outfit named the Institute of Digital Archaeology reconstructed the arches using 3-D printers. It was unveiled on April 19, the occult holiday of Beltane, the beginning of a 13-day period known as ‘the Blood Sacrifice to the Beast’. This took place at the 2016 UNESCO World Heritage Fair in Trafalgar Square in London.
Next was a UN World Heritage event in New York City in September. After that, a global summit in Dubai. Then, off to the G7 in Florence, Italy. Then it went to Washington DC to catch the back end of the sacrifice to the beast, and to form that Baal bond.

Prophecy News Watch, November 11, 2019 Comment:

There’s a modern movement to honor as well as embrace witchcraft and pagan deities, resurrecting religious practices of idolatry and superstition centered around the polytheistic, nature worshipping religions of pre-Christian Europe. A significant portion of today’s pagan converts were raised in Christian families.
By embracing the title “pagan” these converts express their break from Christianity, though it’s uncertain just what the allure to adopt idolatry and superstition may be.

Modern day practicing pagan sects of various orders are associated with such practices as worshipping nature, chanting, dancing, spells, sacrifices, festivals, etc. (see Wikipedia –Modern Paganism)

September 28, 2018 by YC Nightingale – Democracy has a new door, or Arch. The seat of the free world is represented by the “democracy” of the United States. This happens at the US Capital building at the National Mall. The Arch is representing this new democracy than will then be brought to the Hague, the International Courts. – The US Capitol building signifying that the womb is the entrance that takes you through the Arch of Triumph or gateway/portal that leads you to the obelisk or Baals shaft. There is a disgusting sexual element to all of this ritual and this is why they want the public to touch it and go in and out from the Arch. They are having a union with Jupiter, Sophia and their lord, Baal. It is their demonic trinity.

154 Nations Reject Israel’s Biblical Connection to the Temple Mount:

The United Nations gave preliminary approval for a resolution that calls the Temple Mount by its Muslim name exclusively –Haram al-Sharif. The resolution passed at the UN’s Fourth Committee in an overwhelming turn-out of 154-8. The vote featured 14 abstentions as well as 17 absences. It was one of eight Anti-Israel resolutions approved last week. An expected 15 more anti-Israel resolutions are anticipating approval as well. Only Israel and the United States voted against all eight resolutions, although Australia, Canada, Guatemala, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Nauru joined them in voting against the Jerusalem texts. All of the twenty-eight EU member states backed the resolution…

The Acting US Deputy Representative to the United Nations responded to the resolution saying,

“We are disappointed that despite support for reform, member states continue to disproportionately single out Israel through these types of resolutions.”

She added,

“it is deplorable that the United Nations –an institution founded upon the idea that all nations should be treated equally –should be so often used by member states to treat one state in particular, Israel, unequally.”

Breaking Israel News, November 18, 2019

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Related

  1. 2014 Religion
  2. How far does America wants to go to being a pessimist
  3. American social perception, classes and fear mongering
  4. Vile language and behaviour plus little secrets
  5. What’s church for, anyway?
  6. Catholics attacking their own so called infallible pope
  7. The Field is the World #4 Many who leave the church
  8. What Happened at Peor? Part 1
  9. Let the Triumphal Procession Begin | The Arch at the US Capital
  10. Coincidence? Arch of Baal Erected In DC 1 Day Before Kavanaugh Testified Before Congress
  11. The Arch Of Baal In Washington D.C.
  12. Paganism In The Western World, several current video examples: Paganism / BA’AL WORSHIP, Part 2
  13. Environmentalists A Dangerous Cult
  14. The East Tennessee ‘Shinto Shrine’
  15. Why I left Catholicism and Became a Pagan
  16. A Year of Rites: Reflections, Redirections

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Justification – salvation is by grace through faith – JI Packer

Today there is still lots of commotion about works and faith. Still too many Christians do think they do not need any works.
The Catholic church, we must say, has from the beginning seen that certain works were necessary. One can not become a Christian without putting the previous life of sin away by having regret, asking for forgiveness of sins and taking steps to show regret (an act to be taken), opening oneself for remission by going for a baptism (a work).

Not only Rome sees baptism as a channel of sanctifying grace, as the primary instrumental cause of justification, and the sacrament of penance, whereby congruous merit is achieved through works of satisfaction, as the supplementary restorative cause whenever the grace of God’s initial acceptance is lost through mortal sin.

Not only for the Roman Catholics believers save themselves with the help of the grace that flows from Christ through the church’s sacramental system. Several other denominations request that people change their life once baptised (which sometimes demands lots of works). Other protestants groups do forget that it is impossible that a Christian would keep living the same sinful life as before his or her baptism. It is an illusion to believe that we are saved by the blood of Christ and would not have to do any works any more because we would go to heaven or always will be allowed to enter God’s Kingdom.

First of all the Kingdom will be here on earth for most of us. And Jesus showed us with his parables the danger of loosing the entrance through the small gate of life in eternity.

Justification may be given free, like people can win a lottery, but if they do not do anything with the price, they will be nothing with it.

For example if I would give you a limousine you are nothing with it if you do not use the key and turn the motor on (a work). Before you can go into the traffic you have to learn the road code and have to learn to drive. Then you will have to drive (doing a job) and shall have to be careful in traffic (taking attention), going to some place (trafficking).

Also with faith we do need to come into the faith (a work), trafficking, having to keep our faith (demands work), read the Word of God regularly and study it (demands work) we have to be careful to keep the code of God, His regulations and ordinances (keeping to the commandments requires work). Jesus also gave the order to go out in the world to proclaim the Gospel of the coming Kingdom (which demands a work) and to come together regularly, i.e. meeting with each other, which demands also some work.

For those who think they do not have to have self-control (which demands work) we must disappoint them. If they keep lying, bullying, stealing, fornicating, murdering, they shall miss the entrance of the coming Kingdom.
If they think it will be so easy in this system of things, we also must disappoint them, because also when baptised there shall be temptations, suffering and so on, which demand stamina to continue (work) in the faith.

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To remember

Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, “The righteous will live by faith.” Galatians 3:11

=> =  we do have to be righteous to be able to live by faith

The author tells us:

  • doctrine of justification, storm center of Reformation = major concern of apostle Paul = heart of gospel (Rom. 1:17; 3:21-5:21; Gal. 2:15-5:1) shaping both his message (Acts 13:38-39) + his devotion + spiritual life (2 Cor. 5:13-21; Phil. 3:4-14).
  • > other New Testament writers affirm same doctrine in substance => terms in which Protestants have affirmed + defended it for almost five centuries are drawn primarily from Paul.
  • Justification = judicial act of God pardoning sinners (wicked and ungodly persons, Rom. 4:5; 3:9-24) > accepting them as just => putting permanently right their previously estranged relationship with himself.  > => justifying sentence = God’s gift of righteousness (Rom. 5:15-17) = his bestowal of a status of acceptance for Jesus’ sake (2 Cor. 5:21).
  • God’s justifying decision = judgment of the Last Day, declaring where we shall spend eternity
  • necessary means, or instrumental cause, of justification is personal faith in Jesus Christ as crucified Savior and risen Lord (Rom. 4:23-25; 10:8-13).
  • As we give ourselves in faith to Jesus, Jesus gives us his gift of righteousness, so that in the very act of “closing with Christ,” as older Reformed teachers put it, we receive divine pardon and acceptance which we could not otherwise have (Gal. 2:15-16; 3:24).

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Preceding articles

Luther’s misunderstanding

January 27, 417, Pope Innocent I condemning Pelagius about Faith and Works

Our life depending on faith

Romans 4 and the Sacraments

Is Justification a process?

Letter to the Romans, chapter 3

Letter to the Romans, chapter 4

Additional comments to the 3rd Letter to the Romans

Additional comments to the Letter to the Romans 4

Comments to James remarks, about Faith and works

Restitution

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Additional reading

  1. The business of this life
  2. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  3. Believing in the send one and understanding that one does not live by bread alone
  4. Faith Alone Does Not Save . . . No Matter How Many Times Protestants Say It Does
  5. Not about personal salvation but about a bigger Plan
  6. People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions
  7. People Seeking for God 5 Bread of life
  8. Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness
  9. Christ’s ethical teaching
  10. Being Justified by faith
  11. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  12. Faith and works
  13. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #8 Prayer #6 Communication and manifestation
  14. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #16 Benefits of praying
  15. Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word
  16. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  17. Running away from the past
  18. Malefactors becoming your master
  19. Be holy
  20. She who sows thistles will reap prickles
  21. Love for each other attracting others

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Further related articles

  1. No Regrets
  2. Day 19: Things to regret
  3. Access: Denied
  4. Giving our regret to God
  5. Reminisce
  6. Life is like a river
  7. Questions & Answers About Lent
  8. Godly Sorrow Leads Us on to a Glorious Celebration of the Gospel
  9. A Threefold Malice
  10. Reconciliation
  11. Penance – Chapter One
  12. Wednesday of Septuagesima week: O, Merciful God! Have Mercy On Me The Fallen One!
  13. CFP: Discipline and Excess (Cambridge Friday, April 15, 2016)
  14. That kind of Franciscan
  15. The Savior of the World
  16. (01/07/2016) Salvation Only Through Christ?
  17. My Take on the Gay Marriage Bill.
  18. Missing the Mark
  19. Leading people astray!
  20. Tips for Gracious Living: Bad Driving
  21. Unfaithful fornicating adulterating Christians will perish
  22. We don’t meet God 1/2 way.
  23. The Salesman
  24. Actions are the Megaphone of Words
  25. The Justification of Abraham
  26. (01/13/2016) How To Treat Unbelievers?
  27. Tuesday Devotional: Revelation 2
  28. Fashion advice?
  29. (12/31/2015) By Faith, Not By Interpretation?
  30. Faithfulness
  31. Seeing Christ
  32. Faith in Action

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Verlore seun

Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, “The righteous will live by faith.” GALATIANS 3:11

The doctrine of justification, the storm center of the Reformation, was a major concern of the apostle Paul. For him it was the heart of the gospel (Rom. 1:17; 3:21-5:21; Gal. 2:15-5:1) shaping both his message (Acts 13:38-39) and his devotion and spiritual life (2 Cor. 5:13-21; Phil. 3:4-14). Though other New Testament writers affirm the same doctrine in substance, the terms in which Protestants have affirmed and defended it for almost five centuries are drawn primarily from Paul.

Justification is a judicial act of God pardoning sinners (wicked and ungodly persons, Rom. 4:5; 3:9-24), accepting them as just, and so putting permanently right their previously estranged relationship with himself. This justifying sentence is God’s gift of righteousness (Rom. 5:15-17), his bestowal of a status of acceptance for Jesus’ sake (2…

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Romans 4 and the Sacraments

In our series looking at “Faith and works” yesterday (January 28) we looked at the letter from Paul to the Romans, chapters 3 and  4. the 4th chapter often being referred to to support the doctrine of justification by faith alone.

Luther’s work

In our previous posting we saw how the German theologian and religious reformer who was the catalyst of the 16th-century Protestant Reformation Martin Luther gave enough food for the Antitrinitarians. He is one of the most to go against their idea we still have to do works to be able to enter the Kingdom of God.

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It is thanks to his marvellous work of translating of the Bible into the vernacular (instead of Latin) that so many more people could read and find out what was really written in the Holy Scriptures, which had a tremendous impact on the church and West European culture.

From 1510 to 1520, Luther lectured on the Psalms, the books of Hebrews, Romans, and Galatians. As he studied these portions of the Bible, he came to view the use of terms such as penance and righteousness by the Catholic Church in new ways. He became convinced that the church was corrupt in its ways and had lost sight of what he saw as several of the central truths of Christianity.

The most important for Luther was the doctrine of justification – God’s act of declaring a sinner righteous – by faith alone through God’s grace. He taught that salvation or redemption is a gift of God’s grace, attainable only through faith in Jesus as the Messiah.

Looking at Paul’s teachings

The blog “Washed, sanctified and justified” also looks at Paul’s teachings in the knowledge that lots of protestants refer to Romans 3:26-28 as their conclusion that a man is justified by faith. Some will say

Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from works. {Analysis of St. Paul’s Teachings on Justification and Faith}

Many Christians forget to notice “of the law” which indicates something more and something different than just the “Blood of Christ” or “the Blood of the Lamb“.  The Jewish scholar knew very much the importance of “The Law” or the “Torah” in God’s Plan. And these words are very important to the idea that the apostle Paul is expressing. In the previous articles we have seen that the apostle is speaking of works of the law because that is what he was speaking of in the last chapter.

He didn’t suddenly change subjects. However, he has omitted the words of the law at this point. {Analysis of St. Paul’s Teachings on Justification and Faith}

Some Catholics may say the Jews did not have ‘Sacraments’, but they had a Covenant and arrangements (or sarcaments in the wider interpretation), also having their own religious signs or symbols and practices as forms of worship.

Paul was very well aware how men of God were justified in the past. Abram (Abraham), born way before God made the covenant with the Israelites, had come in the faith. When he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed, and he went out, not knowing whither he went. Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. (Genesis 12:1-4; Hebrews 11:8; Romans 4:3) He also had not forgotten, like today many Christians do, that Abraham became the father of many, justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar. (James 2:20-22)

Covenants given to man

The Abrahamic Covnenant may have been interchanged with the Messianic or New Covenant this did not make done with The Law. Too many people forget the terms of the New Covenant.

De Maria in “Romans 4 and the Sacraments” looks further at the misunderstanding of Faith without works.

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We remember from it:

Romans 4 = a dissertation on justification by the Sacraments.

  1. Abraham = our father, according to the flesh
  2. if Abraham > justified by works = he hath whereof to glory > not before God.
  3. if Abraham justified himself = more power to him => it is not of God.
  4. Abraham believed God => counted unto him for righteousness.

=>  that means.

  1. him that works = reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt > obey God’s voice + keep His covenant => a peculiar treasure unto God above all people
  2. to him that works not, but believes on him that justifies the ungodly > faith is counted for righteousness.
  3. Abraham was => did not work for debt
  4. Abraham did work for faith

He also looks at David, one of the circumcised =>  covenant of reconciliation

  • No one can deny David did many works <= all he did was believe in God’s mercy

reconciliation not only offered to Israelites (Abraham not an Israelite + not even circumcised yet) ===> God saw his faith at work => reckoned in uncircumcision to receive sign of circumcision=  seal of the righteousness of the faith

=> = prophecy which showed that even gentiles would be justified by faith.

=> We, like Abraham, believe and are imputed righteousness, in the Sacraments of Jesus Christ.

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St. Paul contrasting Old Testament with New Testament.

  • Old Testament = the Law.
  • New Testament = the Faith.

no ministry of reconciliation in Old Testament. ~~~ David’s reconciliation exception = foreshadowing of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

=> Just as it is imputed to the Catholic, who believing the promises of God, approaches the font of grace and submits to the Sacraments, calling on His name.

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Preceding articles

Luther’s misunderstanding

January 27, 417, Pope Innocent I condemning Pelagius about Faith and Works

Our life depending on faith

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CatholicBibleTalk

 Romans 4 is frequently used to support the doctrine of justification by faith alone. But it is actually a dissertation on justification by the Sacraments.  Let’s go through it.

King James Version (KJV)
1 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?Abraham is our father, according to the flesh. The Apostle asks, “what has he found”?

2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

Now, he asks, “did Abraham justify himself?” If he did, then more power to him, but it is not of God.

3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

Now, he quotes Gen 15:6Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

and he begins to explain what that means.

4 Now to him that…

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January 27, 417, Pope Innocent I condemning Pelagius about Faith and Works

In the past there have been many discussion about the possibility man being good. When we look at the world today it seems not much has changed. Along all sides we can see people who do not want to share the luck they have with others. This has come to a high point with the refugee crisis. It is understandable that people want to protect their own goods and culture, but often they are too much afraid that their way of living would be in danger by others from far away coming to live in their regions.

Several people are convinced that people who are fleeing from war-zones can not be good and trustworthy people. According to several Christians it is even impossible for a human being to be good from himself and as such no one can be reliable.

A17th century Calvinist print depicting Pelagi...

A17th century Calvinist print depicting Pelagius. The caption says “Accurst Pelagius, with what false pretence Durst thou excuse man’s foul concupiscence, Or cry down Sin Originall, or that The love of God did man predestinate.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The controversial British monk Pelagius in the fifth century had taught that man’s nature was essentially good. This was not to the liking of the Catholic Church leaders who found that because of Adam’s sin all men were born with a strong tendency to sin. It is even for that reason that lots of Christians do say it is impossible for Jesus to be a man. Because he was without sin he should be God, according to them. This naturally is not at all true and makes of God a horrible Creator, having created human beings who can not decide for themselves to do good or bad. Worse it would also mean that God gave man commandments He knew they would never be able to follow.

Pelagius rightly said that an individual had the power to do right by choosing to do right and by beating the body into submission through ascetic practices. Traditional Christianity said that men could defeat their tendencies to sin only by the working of God’s grace in their heart. According to the churchleaders Pelagius‘s ideas meant that Christ‘s death on the cross served more as a moral example than as an atonement able to transform the soul from within by divine force, which meant against going their doctrine of sola fide.

Those who think that Old and New Testaments alike teach us that we cannot change ourselves have not very well read the Holy Book of books. In the many books which form the bible we do have many examples of people who have gone from bad to good but also from good to bad and sometimes returning to good.

Augustinus 1.jpg

Saint Augustine from a 19th-century engraving

The Christian philosopher and theologian St. Augustine or Augustine of Hippo (354-430), best known for “The Confessions” and “The City of God” was responsible for the excommunication of Pelagius.

While in Rome, Pelagius first heard of Augustine through his reading of a prayer from Augustine’s Confessions: “Give what Thou commandest and command that Thou wilt.” To Pelagius, the philosophy expressed in this prayer sounded like the total abandonment of human responsibility and a denial of the ethical dimensions of the Christian faith. If all moral action, thought Pelagius, depends solely on God — both the commanding as well as the ability to obey — God is either an arbitrary tyrant or else man is a creature deprived of free will. Pelagius conducted his teaching along these lines while he was in Rome, and it was to this teaching that an able lawyer, Caelestius, responded, leaving his profession of advocacy and becoming Pelagius’s disciple, companion, and the popularizer of his views.

Caelestius’s Pelagian views continued to spread, and soon Augustine was preaching and writing with intense fervour against this what he called a new heresy, arguing that the whole lump of humanity is infected with sin and that only the grace administered in baptism can wash away the guilty stain.

In spite of these admonitions from the Doctor of Grace, the controversy continued, and it was not long before the articulate bishop of Eclanum, Julian, stepped in to argue the Pelagian cause, forcing Augustine, by the clarity of his logic, into positions regarding the doctrines of grace and predestination that have been burdensome to Western Christendom ever since. {Encyclopedia of World Biography | 2004}

Today we still find many who do not want to see that man has a lot in his own hands. Today there are still lots of Christians who think it is impossible for man to live according to God’s Wishes and that he does not have to do any good works to enter the Kingdom of God because it is just impossible for him to do such good works.

According to Augustine it is not possible to lead a sinless life, with (for whatever reason, probably she had to carry the god son according to the Catholic Church) the exception of the Virgin Mary. For Augustine divine grace must precede every virtuous act and today many Christians are also still convinced we are all saved whatever what we have done and whatever we do in our life.

For such Christians who try to put sand in the eyes of searching people, the saying that we need works to enter the Kingdom of God is heresy. For them it is not only possible for man not to sin, they are not able to bring any change in the salvation of themselves.

The caricature of Pelagianism found in many orthodox textbooks and devotional manuals is hardly one that Pelagius would recognize. He never, for instance, denied the need for grace or for infant baptism; he never accepted the position that man can, by his own moral efforts, achieve his salvation. On basic doctrinal issues, Pelagius was certainly orthodox; and on matters of Christian morality his chief concern was to foster among Christian people a right regard for the ethical responsibilities he saw as inherent in the Gospel message. {Encyclopedia of World Biography | 2004}

The Christian attitude is a very important issue which was been tackled by rabbi Jeshua (master teacher Jesus Christ) with a lot of delicacy. The Nazarene Jew, who was not afraid to bring others to see they had no right to judge others, told his listeners many parables in which he tried to get them to understand that we must be very careful not to loose the right to enter the Kingdom of God.

Lots of Christians are mistaken to think they do not have to do any good works to enter Gods Kingdom. It is true that they are saved and have nothing to do to get under the Grace of salvation. But what they forget is that, though they received salvation for nothing, they can loose it when they do not work at themselves. The leaders of the Protestant Reformation, 1,500 years after the last books of the Bible were written wanted their flock to believe that Jesus paid the full prize or penalty for our sins, so that nothing had to be done or paid any more. They added their human doctrine, which is nowhere written in the Bible, saying that

Jesus paid the punishment for our sins, he having fully atoned for our sins and by saying “it is finished” he did what no human could do, make up for their sins and made an end to everything what had to be done.

But it was not finished by having to come to God (a work) or to follow God’s commandments (again demanding works).

It is totally wrong to think once new born and/or being baptised, we are cleared and have a free way to enter into God’s Kingdom, or what some are thinking to go to heaven. In case a person has fund Christ and has come to God several works are needed. First of all before finding Christ work has to be done to come to know him and his God. Once a person believes in Jesus Christ, the son of God, that person has to convert to Christianity which again is a work to be done. But once baptised it is not finished. Than the person has to work at his or her character and try to stay on the right track, following God’s commandments, which shall require again some, not to say ‘lots’ of works.

Every Christian must work to control themselves. Once having become a Christian that person should try not to lie, to steal, to betray, to fornicate, to murder and many other things he or she should avoid doing (which demands work). If none of these works are needed for salvation the person could have sex with as many persons or animals as he or she wanted no matter the gender. If no works have to be done a person could also continue to do fraudulent actions, without having to worry.

It is for the reason having so many Christian preachers trying to convince others they do not need to do any works, and because of the reaction by Grow Pastor, Minister to Men, Ken Miller to us, at his article That’s the Spirit!, that we think it opportune to warn people of the lack of understanding of the given grace.

Christ Jesus died for all people, sinners or not. By the works of faith he has done, we received the Grace of Salvation, but when we ignore his calling or his heavenly Father’s calling than we shall not be allowed to enter the Kingdom of god when we did bad things and did not repent about them. It is not by works of justice that we had done, but, in accord with the mercy of God, Him willing to accept the ransom offering of His son. Through Jesus Christ our Saviour we are been justified by his grace and are we allowed to become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:5-7)

When Saul had become a follower of the Messiah he looked at the work of the master teacher and at the sacraments which were given to those who followed Jesus. The apostle wrote

Romans 3:27-31 The Scriptures 1998+  (27)  Where, then, is the boasting? It is shut out. By what Torah? Of works? No, but by the Torah of belief.  (28)  For we reckon that a man is declared right by belief without works of Torah.  (29)  Or is He the Elohim of the Yehuḏim only, and not also of the gentiles? Yea, of the gentiles also,  (30)  since it is one Elohim who shall declare right the circumcised by belief and the uncircumcised through belief.  (31)  Do we then nullify the Torah through the belief? Let it not be! On the contrary, we establish the Torah.1 Footnote: 1See 7:12.

and gave the Romans to know that they thought or hold that a man is brought into right standing with God by faith and that observance of the law has no connection with it.

Saying that he did not confirm that

“by faith apart from deeds of the law” as meaning, “by faith alone”

but him affirming that we then not through faith make null and void the law; instead, we confirm it. It is by our faith that we shall do certain works according to the faith. Pelagius considered that sacraments are elements believers should keep taking throughout their life. For him it was like it is for us, that faith should be expressed and perfected in works. Submitting to Jehovah His works in the proper disposition, which is that of faith, is an action or a work to be done.

Too many Christians forget the importance of the feeling we should have about what we have done. If we do not feel bad by the wrong things we have done and do not repent for them, for sure the Bible shows us, we shall not receive an entrance in God’s Kingdom. Repentance and teshuvah demands a work. Staying a good person also demands work. All those that say we do not have to do any work of faith, are either forgetting what the Bible tells about it and are insinuating we can do whatever we want and shall still be saved.

On the other hand it is very strange that it are just such preachers who talk so ferociously about salvation and no works needed for salvation, who also preach about damnation in a hell, a place of eternal fire.

Luckily the Bible speaks about the end of our life by death, and that we once we die shall not be able to feel anything any more. No frustrations, no pain, no sorrow any more when we die. Then it shall all be finished, but then it shall also be too late if we did not choose for God and did not work at our own self.

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Please do find also to read:

  1. Salvation and Righteousness
  2. Elul Observances
  3. God’s wrath and sanctification
  4. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  5. Outflow of foundational relationship based on acceptance of Jesus
  6. Back from gone #4 Your inner feelings and actions
  7. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  8. Cognizance at the doorstep or at the internet socket
  9. Good and bad things in this world
  10. Establish your hearts blameless in holiness
  11. Myth 12: The Hyper-Grace Gospel Makes People Lazy
  12. Faith Alone Does Not Save . . . No Matter How Many Times Protestants Say It Does
  13. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  14. A Living Faith #6 Sacrifice
  15. Humbleness
  16. A race not to swift, nor a battle to the strong
  17. The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong
  18. Being of good courage running the race
  19. Bearing fruit
  20. To Soar In The Spirit You Have To Be Hard Core
  21. Our stance against certain religions and immigrating people
  22. Religion, fundamentalism and murder
  23. Daring to speak in multicultural environment
  24. As Christ’s slaves doing the Will of God in gratitude
  25. 2014 Religion
  26. Disobedient man and God’s promises
  27. From pain to purpose
  28. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #17 Sorts of prayers
  29. God’s forgotten Word 5 Lost Lawbook 4 The ‘Catholic’ church
  30. Daily Spiritual Food To prepare ourselves for the Kingdom of God
  31. Evangelisation, local preaching opposite overseas evangelism
  32. When not seeing or not finding a biblically sound church

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Further reading

  1. No one is saved by the law. Salvation is by faith through Grace.
  2. The Justification of Abraham
  3. St. Paul Didn’t Say Faith Alone
  4. The Law of Diminishing Returns
  5. A Call to Dare God
  6. The Tangible Presence of God
  7. Devotion for Monday After the Second Sunday in Lent, Year C (ELCA Daily Lectionary)
  8. Grace is a soft gospel for soft Christians & The Hyper-Grace Gospel Makes People Lazy
  9. Did God really say “Prevenient” Grace
  10. Can someone who genuinely loves the God of Israel, prays to Him and trusts him go to hell? The New Testament says…
  11. I was wrong – but I am right – Calvinists preach a false gospel.
  12. The pain of radical grace
  13. The power of grace
  14. Seeing Christ
  15. (12/04/2015) By More Than Believing
  16. Faith Child – Forget the poor!
  17. (01/13/2016) How To Treat Unbelievers?
  18. Repent so that you can understand
  19. Faithfulness
  20. Faith Without Works (Pastor Joe Taylor)
  21. Faith without Works ??? (1 Way to live)
  22. Spiritual Insights for Everyday Life: Faith Alone Does Not Save
  23. The Works
  24. Faith in Action
  25. Put Your Faith Into Action
  26. Fashion advice?
  27. Intentional God
  28. The Sower of Seeds: A Parable of Jesus
  29. Matthew 23:23 [Coming Soon]
  30. Studies in Mark (Pt. 8)
  31. Galatians 5:4 [Unfinished]
  32. Galatians 6:7-9 [Unfinished]
  33. Ephesians 2:8-9
  34. Titus 3:5-7
  35. NT Reading – October 5
  36. James 1:14-20 — Faith that Works!
  37. James, Part 2
  38. The Book that Almost Wasn’t: Faith, Lists, and Works ~ James 2
  39. Tuesday Devotional: Revelation 2
  40. Faith Without Works Is Dead
  41. Putting Legs to Their Faith
  42. Are You a doer???
  43. Are You Willing to do more???
  44. Mincing no Words
  45. Epistle for September 6, 2015
  46. Tell it Tuesday w/ B.Parker|How To Pray When Life Isn’t Going Your Way
  47. Tell it Tuesday w/ B. Parker| It’s 2am and No One is Answering…Who To Call?
  48. Childish Thinking
  49. Are You A Weed?
  50. Sneaky Subjectivism
  51. What Future?
  52. Intentional Avoidance, Disconnected Ignorance, or Disinterested Forgetfulness?
  53. We Are All Damaged Goods…
  54. Just Sitting There
  55. The Subnormal Christian Life
  56. 14 How to Work Your Way to Hell
  57. Faith Life Congruence
  58. We pray and plead with you…”Do You Job!”
  59. Gospel Doctrine 2015 – Lesson 42 – “Pure Religion”

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The Catholic synod on the family and abortion

In the United States Catholic bishops hire public-relations firms to discourage abortion and the last few months also evangelical groups join hands with conservative Catholics and Muslims.

In certain countries there have been lots of teenage mothers. For them certain groups advised them to consider abortion. But this is not an option for those who want to turn to pleasing God, as the Bible makes it clear that abortion is against God’s law. (Exodus 20:13; 21:22, 23; Psalm 139:14-16) In God’s eyes the life of any embryo — including one conceived out of wedlock — is precious.

Those situations were also subject of the talks at the Vatican, were in continuation of the previous meetings the Synod on marriage and family spend only a little bit of time for the women in need of advice and pregnancy support.

Last year there were already surprised looks at the request of Pope Francis I to absolve from the censure that is incurred by the crime (not just sin) of successfully procuring an abortion, as part of the Year of Mercy.

On Saturday evening the Synod of Bishops on the Family came to a close when Synod Fathers voted paragraph by paragraph on the final text. At the end of the vote the text was presented to the Holy Father. All 94 points received the required two-thirds majority vote. For the pope the Synod was not about settling issues but attempting to see them in the light of the Gospel and the Church’s tradition and two thousand year history. The Pope said it was about interpreting reality through God’s eyes.

The Holy Father said it was about making clear that the Church is a Church of the poor in spirit and of sinners seeking forgiveness.

Than we may ask what the Catholic Church is going to do about the sex offenders in their clergy and how they are going to treat the young girls who were molested by priests and got pregnant. At the same time we want to question the Catholic Church fathers how they are going to treat those girls who decided to have an abortion.

Quoting Benedict XVI, Pope Francis said

Mercy is indeed the central nucleus of the Gospel message“.

The Holy Father said that many of the delegates felt the working of the Holy Spirit who is

“the real protagonist and guide of the Synod.”

To conclude the Synod, he said, is to

“return to our true ‘journeying together’ in bringing to every part of the world, every diocese, to every community and every situation, the light of the Gospel, the embrace of the Church and the support of God’s mercy!

But when we look at the results we can not see that there is much progress made in handling the gender issues and in coping with matrimonial and out of marriage family formation.

Did those bishops really listened to and made heard

“the voices of the families and the Church’s pastors, who came to Rome bearing on their shoulders the burdens and the hopes, the riches and the challenges of families throughout the world.” ?

There was a “disparity in the voting” on the subjects of pastoral care for divorced and remarried persons. While preserving the Church’s teaching and current pastoral practice on dealing with divorced and remarried couples, the synod urged the bishops to treat these couples as baptised persons who must be

“more integrated into the Christian community

while

“avoiding every occasion of scandal.”

For sure the Catholic Church itself had to endure enough scandals the last ten years and strangely enough those homosexual priests did not want to have an ear to be more lenient to the homosexual and transgender civilians. Now they had an opportunity to show their comprehension for people with such feelings, but they mist that chance.

The bishops called the homosexual ideological colonisation

“unacceptable in every case.”

They also rejected the pressure exerted on local churches by those who are pushing for the acceptance of gay “marriage.”

Perhaps those pushing the Church to adopt a more welcoming and tolerant stance towards the LGBT community might ask themselves what stern opposition to that position was all about during the synods of 2014 and 2015.

They might realize, for instance, that for many African Catholics, such demands come off as another chapter in what Pope Francis has described as “ideological colonization,” meaning efforts by the West to force its values on the rest of the world. (The final document acknowledges the legitimacy of those concerns.) {After the synod, can Catholics put Humpty Dumpty together again?}

DignityUSA is deeply disappointed in the final report out of the Synod on the family.

“The respectful language of the midterm report is gone,”

said Marianne Duddy-Burke, DignityUSA’s Executive Director.

“A return to what we’ve heard for decades will dishearten LGBT people, same-sex couples, and our families.”

“What we saw through the Synod process is that there are deep divisions in what the Catholics bishops think about LGBT people, even at the highest levels of leadership. Unfortunately, today, doctrine won out over pastoral need. It is disappointing that those who recognized the need for a more inclusive Church were defeated,” {LGBT Catholics Disappointed by Final Synod Report}

Duddy-Burke continued.

We may not underestimate the importance of what the Vatican decrees and sends into the world. those words are not only used by the 1.2 billion Catholics of which more than 40% live in Latin America (483 million Catholics) – but Africa has seen the biggest growth in Catholic congregations in recent years. Since 1970, Catholicism has seen a global shift southwards – the proportion of Catholics living in Europe has declined, while Africa has seen a growth in the number of Catholics – from 45 million in 1970 to 176 million in 2012. Asia has also seen a growth in Catholicism and now represents almost 12% of the total Catholic population in the world, or 137 million people.

The people in Europe do not mind to have their own Catholicism for their own region and perhaps this is going to show up even more after this missed change for this church which according to some bishops prefers to stay in the world of 2000 years ago.

Catholics in the world - shows percentage catholics by continent: L America 41.3%, Europe 23.7, Africa 15.2, Asia 11.7, N America 7.3, Oceania 0.8%

 

In a final speech to the synod, Francis took some clear swipes at the conservatives who hold up church doctrine above all else, saying the church’s primary duty isn’t to condemn or judge but to proclaim God’s mercy and save souls.

That condemnation we can see a lot in the Catholic denominations and in several evangelical and Pentecostal churches. On that part we can find certain organisations which are doing more damage to the unity of people and formation of Bible readers and followers.

The bishops were willing to take Francis I his direction, finding “positive elements” in couples who live together even though they are not married. Rather than condemning these couples for living in sin, the document says pastors should look at their commitment constructively and encourage them to transform their union in a sacramental marriage.

The Pope already gave several examples how to show respect and love for others and asks his pastors also to show respect for those who are not like the majority. He even demands that particular pastoral care shall be given to families with gay members. though the Church can not accept such a declination. Gay marriage and “gender theory” are strongly rejected by the document which omits references to church teaching that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered.”

The final synod document also supported Church teachings on life issues such as abortion and contraception.

It reiterated that all human life

“is sacred because, since its beginning, it involves the creative action of God.”

The document rejected the “biotechnical revolution in the field of human procreation” which

“has introduced the ability to manipulate the generative act, rendering it independent of the sexual relationship between a man and woman.”

The document gives notice that only God

“is the Lord of life from its beginning to its end,”

and that no one, under any circumstance, can claim for themselves the right to directly destroy an innocent human being. But they did not go deeper into different conditions or certain necessities.

The document focused on the beauty of marriage and the family, emphasising the indissolubility of marriage from beginning to end.

It quoted Pope Francis’ Oct. 4 homily during the opening of the synod where he said, “God didn’t create the human being to live in sadness or to be alone, but for happiness, to share his path with another person that is complimentary.”

The document said, “God united the hearts of man and woman who love each other and unites them in unity and indissolubility. This means that the goal of married life is not only to live together forever, but to love each other forever!”

Gregorio III Laham, Patriarch of Antioch said
“In a way, we experienced the Pentecost here. We held a Synod here in the Vatican hall, under closed doors, just as the apostles did in Jerusalem. Now it’s time to reach out to the world, through our local dioceses with the message of the Synod.”

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Preceding articles:

  1. Fruitage of the womb
  2. Abortion: The expulsion of an embryo or foetus before it can live on its own
  3. The Risk Factors Associated with Abortions
  4. Should I Have An Abortion
  5. My Choice (by Jezabel Jonson)
  6. The Real ‘Choice’
  7. “They Told Me What I Wanted To Hear” – Real Abortion Stories
  8. The Things We Carry, by Penny
  9. Not an easy decision to make
  10. Whoopi Goldberg commandments and abortion
  11. Stop Burning Rape Survivors at the Stake
  12. How to heal after childhood sexual abuse
  13. “Til It Happens To You” by Lady Gaga
  14. Abortion — Not a Trouble-Free Solution
  15. About a human being or not and life

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Additional reading:

  1. Two synods and life in the church community
  2. A synod not leading to doctrinal changes because it is about pastoral attention
  3. Youngsters, parents and the search to root in life
  4. Conclusion of the synod of bishops for seeing the family in the light of the Gospel and church tradition
  5. What’s church for, anyway?
  6. Human relations 2013
  7. About lions and babies
  8. Westboro Baptist Church and Catholic Truth against Nelson Mandela
  9. Always a choice
  10. A philosophical error which rejects the body as part of the human person
  11. Need to Embrace People Where They Are
  12. Tony Campolo Calls for Full Inclusion of LGBT Into the Church
  13. Same sex realtionships and Open attitude mirroring Jesus
  14. Belonging to or being judged by
  15. 2014 Religion
  16. Different assessment criteria and a new language to be found for communicating the faith
  17. History of Christianity
Pope Francis leaves a session of the synod in the Vatican

Pope Francis had pointed words for conservative bishops after the meeting

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 Further reading:

  1. How many Roman Catholics are there in the world?
  2. Catholic bishops end divisive synod on family
  3. Final report to be a general guide, not hard answers, says cardinal
  4. Ask Father: Why were non-bishops voting at Synod of Bishops?
  5. Catholic bishops at synod call for a more welcoming church
  6. Explaining the Year of Mercy “abortion forgiveness faculty”
  7. Deafening Silence on Abortion at Synod
  8. What’s Behind the UN Attack on the Church? | Crisis Magazine
  9. 50 million babies a year? What’s that got to do with anything?
  10. Bishop Mark Davies: Assisted Suicide Bill Will Put Lives of Many Vulnerable People at Risk
  11. Ed Peters on the ‘sin’ of abortion, the ‘crime’ of abortion, and excommunication
  12. Clergy defending Big Business Abortion
  13. Nancy “The Theologian” Pelosi tears the throat out of a reporter asking about big-business abortion
  14. Damien Hirst’s latest work praised by pro-life workers
  15. Her heart spoke volumes
  16. 9 Months
  17. It May Be A Legal Right, But it Seems Wrong, Doesn’t it?
  18. Katie Revisits Pain and Purpose–or, She’s Back in Black
  19. Forget Your Perfect Offering – 10/23/15
  20. The empty cradle in her heart. My story and tribute.
  21. A Flower for a Friend
  22. A little bundle of God’s Awesomeness
  23. The next, and likely even more aggressive, wave of persecution
  24. Bishop Swain speaks out after Catholic insurance co. adds contraceptive coverage
  25. Is NCAN a “front group” for LCWR?
  26. The Child Who Never Was
  27. Why There Should Be No Issue With Jenner Being Woman of the Year
  28. Court Sides With Transgender Widow In Fight Over Texas Estate
  29. Share Your Story : Nat
  30. Glamour’s First Man of the Year
  31. Living Outside Society’s Shit
  32. Reason 46: Because Having Your Children Retreat Is Good When The War Is Lost
  33. Semi-Closeted TGirl Problems 2
  34. Day Zero
  35. Falling Leaves and Family Love.
  36. Entitlement and Free Speech….
  37. Germaine Greer: Transgender women are ‘not women’
  38. In defence of Germaine
  39. Germaine Greer Slams Caitlyn Jenner: ‘Our… – Stephanie Soteriou
  40. Germaine Greer – The Feminist Who Won’t Back Down (Nor Should She)
  41. Violence against trans women increase following the decision by the Federal Court
  42. Gender.
  43. The power of words
  44. Incomplete Transaction
  45. A Difficult Decision
  46. The Subject Of Debate
  47. To My Trans-national Friends!
  48. The real transparent experience
  49. New York Legally Safer for the Transgendered
  50. Trangender University student interview [ part one]
  51. Transgender University student interview [part two]
  52. Transgender university student interview [ part 3 ]
  53. Transgender University student interview [part 4]
  54. It feels just like I’m falling for the first time.
  55. Stephanie Rose declared her hate for God
  56. US: NY Gov Cuomo Extends Protection To Transgender New Yorkers
  57. Who Is a ‘Transphobe’?
  58. Spotlight of the month – Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family by Amy Ellis Nutt
  59. How bad is the epidemic of violence against transgender women? It’s hard to know. – Vox
  60. The strangest thing about being transgender….A.K.A My passive aggressive post about being transgender
  61. The Irony of my GID diagnosis..
  62. Falling Into Place
  63. All together boys and girls…. Part 1
  64. Planned Parenthood: Profiting from Infanticide
  65. The miracle of life: art in service of truth
  66. “No success can compensate for failure in the home“
  67. Guest post on March for Life UK’s blog
  68. Erroneous thinking
  69. Every Unborn Child Has the Face of the Lord: Pope Francis addresses medical professionals.
  70. Of Kings, and Popes, and Abortions, and the Environment
  71. Recreation?
  72. Reformed Church Statements on abortion
  73. Christian Reformed Church its official stand on abortion
  74. Abortion from the Religious and Moral Perspective: An Annotated Bibliography

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