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January 15th, 2011
09:20 PM ET

Former Anglican bishops ordained as Catholic priests in new program

Marking a new era for the Roman Catholic Church in England, three former Anglican bishops were ordained as Catholic priests in London on Saturday, the first to take advantage of a new Vatican program that makes it easier for dissatisfied Anglicans to enter Catholicism.

"Many ordinations have taken place in this Cathedral during the 100 years of its history," said Westminster Archbishop Vincent Nichols Saturday at Westminster Cathedral. "But none quite like this."

"Today is a unique occasion marking a new step in the life and history of the Catholic Church," he said at the ordination ceremony.

Announced in 2009, the Catholic Church program enables Anglicans to become Catholic and recognize the pope as their leader, yet have parishes that retain Anglican rites, Vatican officials have said.

The move came some 450 years after King Henry VIII broke from Rome and created the Church of England, forerunner of the Anglican Communion.

The parishes will be led by former Anglican clergy - including those who are married - who could be ordained as Catholic priests, according to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The move comes as some conservative Anglicans are taking issue with their church's increasingly progressive stances on issues like women bishops and homosexuality.

"This journey, of course, involves some sad parting of friends," Nichols said Saturday, acknowledging the new rift among Anglicans. "This, too, we recognize and it strengthens the warmth of our welcome."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Anglican • Catholic Church • Europe • United Kingdom

soundoff (257 Responses)
  1. gerald

    Steve,

    You said above:

    Secondly, The catholic catechism mentions this idea of purgatory as a final SATISFACTION of the penalty. But Rom. 3:24-25 states that God set forth Christ to be a PROPITIATION (for our sins) through faith in His blood. Propitiation is a Greek word that means SATISFACTION!

    Actually the CCC does not use the word satisfaction unless you can find and quote it. I did a search and don't see it there. But it doesn't matter. What you fail to see is that it is not either Christ or purgatory as if purgatory is something WE are doing to satisfy our sins in purgatory. The point you have to come to understand is that Christ was a propitiation for our sins 2000 years ago but to belabor my point illuded to in the question above to bella that I have also asked you, sanctification happens by the grace of God in this life. That grace was earned by Christ on the cross 2000 years ago and is brought forward to our lives today. It is not either Christ and the cross or purgatory at all. The arguments you are making against purgatory apply equally well (or not from my point of view) to sanctification in this life as a process as well. They apply to any cleansing, being made holy, and for that matter justification. Grace is more than God just being nice and turning a blind eye toward sin. It is the inner workings of the Holy Spirit cleansing us, sanctifying, and correcting the damage sin has done to the soul.

    January 18, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      Not my post Gerald

      January 18, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • geraldh

      My apologies. You are correct.

      January 18, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • geraldh

      I do see you gavie it an "excellent post" so I think my response still deserves and answer from you. Thanks.

      January 18, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  2. BellaDona

    I do not have time right now, but will respond to the post to Steve and Myself, this sometime evening

    (For Gerald)

    January 18, 2011 at 10:04 am |
    • gerald

      Bella,

      I look forward to your reply. Please be sure and answer the question of if it is finished means Christ finished it all on the cross 2000 years ago and nothing more has to be done, then why do we have to repent now and put out lives in his hands now. Why doesn't everyone go to heaven if it is finished means that our sins were washed clean 2000 years ago? Did he only die for some of the sins of mankind? These are the most pressing questions I have for you and Steve.

      January 18, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • gerald

      Let me elaborate just a bit so that the question is fully understood. Steve says there can't be a purgatory because Christ said it is finished. I.e. there can be no sanctification in purgatory.

      "Third, when he died, he said, "It is finished"... a Greek term meaning paid in full! ""

      Well then if when jesus said "it is finished" that meant no more sanctification, then how can one be sanctified in this life at all, 2000 years after Christ said those words.

      January 18, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • BellaDona

      Just a short coment to CatholicMom...I did respond to both the posts you lef me. I copied and pasted your comment, and indicated where I commented, within the thread, with some asterisks. The other post II answered from you, posted a good ways back, up the page. I just did not want you to think I didn't respond back, they are there.

      January 18, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      Gerald,

      The plan of salvation was complete. It is a a part of God's plan to forgive us when we ask of Him in faith. Our sins do not take God by surprise!

      January 18, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Thank you, I found them!

      January 18, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      Gerald,

      Salvation and sancification are not the same. Salvation gets us to Heaven while sanctification is a process that makes us more like Christ while we are on the earth! You used a sports anology! Let me use one. Baseball! In order to get home a runner cannot directly run to 2nd base. He has to touch 1st base first! Lets say first base is salvation! In order to get to 2nd base (sanctification) the runner has to be saved (1st base) first! Salvation first, then sanctification! One cannot be sanctificated unless first saved! The process for salvation has been accomplished "it is finished". Sanctification occurs in us WHILE WE ARE ALIVE until we are called to heaven!

      January 18, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • gerald

      Steve,

      I'm not sure if your not reading or not understanding me. Nowhere have I said that one who is being sanctified is getting saved? I would prefer the term "state of grace". Those in purgatory are not trying to get saved. They are saved. So your post was just talking past me. I think you are forming answers based on your misconceptions of Catholicism, in other words you are trying to tell me what you think I believe. I DO NOT believe that someone who is not "saved" or "in a state of grace" is being sanctified. You say sanctification is making us more Christ like. Amen I agree. What makes us un-christlike? The affects of personal sin and original sin. Nothing that is not associated with sin makes us imperfect and therefore it does not need sanctification. It is our sin nature that needs to be sanctified. Amen?

      You put a stipulate on sanctification that it has to happen in this life. Ok give me a scripture that explicitly states that. This is problematic if you agree that sanctification is a process as most protestants do. Lets say that Billy Graham who has been sanctified for many years is riding a bus as an excercise in humility to get to his next revival. The bus stops and a man gets on who is a drunk, lives with a woman, and does drugs. Well as luck would have it he sits down next to Mr. Graham who works his magic and the man is converted. Now there is a bit of difference in our theologies here but you would say he still needs sanctification. Correct me if I am wrong. Okay, the bus rolls off a cliff and both die. Does the man not need the sanctification that Billy has gone through? Is sanctification unnecessary?

      Salvation and sancification are not the same. Salvation gets us to Heaven while sanctification is a process that makes us more like Christ while we are on the earth! You used a sports anology! Let me use one. Baseball! In order to get home a runner cannot directly run to 2nd base. He has to touch 1st base first! Lets say first base is salvation! In order to get to 2nd base (sanctification) the runner has to be saved (1st base) first! Salvation first, then sanctification! One cannot be sanctificated unless first saved! The process for salvation has been accomplished "it is finished". Sanctification occurs in us WHILE WE ARE ALIVE until we are called to heaven!

      January 18, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      Gerald,

      1. Who goes through purgatory? You told me not everyone gets there!
      2. Whatyhappens when one gets there?

      January 18, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • gerald

      Steve,

      What is unclear about 1 Cor 3:15? It says "if any man's work is burned up he is saved, but as if through fire." This seems pretty clear to me. At the end of life we are judged. ALL end up in heaven. Do you know what virtue is? It is a counter to vice. For instance greed is counted by charity. Pride countered by humility. We all have some pride and at times suffer from greed. Even when we are saved and in Christ. The practice of virtue, which can only be accomplished in a genuine way by the grace of God, roots out the vice in us. We become humbled. We become charitable and more full of love. We learn to serve as Christ served. This is intimately tied to the process of sanctification. Now the passage says that the works are burned up. The vice has not been sufficiently countered by vice. Surely you agree we are all a work in progress? Clay molded by the potter. Well there is no passage that says it is guaranteed to be done by death. For some it is but not all.

      2) What happens in purgatory? Good question and we only use analogies to speak of it because it has not been explicitly revealed to us. Speculation is that we see ourselves , our impurities when we face Christ and we see him in all his glory. This causes an intensity in us of love for him and yet we know we cannot be fully in his prescence (though he is always near) until we are fully purged. Perhaps it is his love acting directly on the soul as opposed to in this world where we are sanctified while in the body. At any rate we simply know that by the grace of Christ earned for us on the cross, we are purified.

      January 18, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
  3. gerald

    Ad-hom when you don't have anything to cut and paste it would seem. Seems straight up debate with your own thoughts causes you some measure of difficulty. There wasn't an original man and woman? Really? I didn't thump you with any bible quotes.

    January 18, 2011 at 9:28 am |
    • Reality

      Adam and Eve of the human-generated bible supposedly lived 6000 years ago.

      What modern research has found:

      As per National Geographic's Genographic project:

      https://www3.nationalgeographic.com/genographic/ Miracles

      " DNA studies suggest that all humans today descend from a group of African ancestors who about 60,000 years ago began a remarkable journey. Follow the journey from them to you as written in your genes”.

      "Adam" is the common male ancestor of every living man. He lived in Africa some 60,000 years ago, which means that all humans lived in Africa at least at that time.

      Unlike his Biblical namesake, this Adam was not the only man alive in his era. Rather, he is unique because his descendents are the only ones to survive.

      It is important to note that Adam does not literally represent the first human. He is the coalescence point of all the genetic diversity."

      January 18, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • gerald

      unReality,

      First of all Catholicism does not require one to believe in strict creationism and I tend not to be a strict creationist though I have no problem with others that do. I see a lot of filling in the gaps by evolutionary scientists and much hand waving about how one species can come from another species and not one instance of it actually happening. Clearly in species evolution is a process but again it is a stretch to go from that to species to species evolution. Your post relies on it and it takes at least as much faith to believe in that as to believe in God and his creative powers setting a world in motion. There are many other serious problems with evolution as well that I don't have time for right now, like how it all got started, theories that later turned out to be false, etc.. Maybe later I will elaborate.

      January 18, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  4. gerald

    Reality,

    You seem to be good at cutting and pasting dump trucks of nonsense from others. Not everyone agrees tat Abraham and Moses didn't existe and David was a provincial King. I've seen shows on public TV demonstrating both. There is nothing more clear to me than the doctrine of original sin. We all sin. It seems natural to us. Of course you probably don't believe in sin. But one could believe a brick wall did not exist and if you run in to it at 90 miles per hour it's existence will be apparent. As for the priest scandal it just shows that the Church is a hospital for sinners more than a hotel for saints. I doubt you are perfect. Probably why you are striking out so hard against Christ's Church. Sad.

    January 18, 2011 at 7:36 am |
    • Reality

      Original sin? Adam and Eve did not exist so there was no original sin.

      Gerald, you obviously suffer from the Three B Syndrome i.e. Bred, Born and Brainwashed in your religion caused by the randomness of birth. Take some time to think about that before th-umping the human bible yet again.

      January 18, 2011 at 8:22 am |
    • Steve the real one

      Reality,

      The greatest lie the devil has plagued mankind with is the idea God does not exist. The second greatest? He, the devil does not exist! Sounds like you fell for it! The good news is as long as you are breathing, it is not too late! You as well as I will be spending eternity with one of the two! of them We make that choice! Choose wisely my friend!

      January 18, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  5. CatholicMom

    .
    Christians have always interpreted the Bible literally when it declares, "Baptism . . . now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (1 Pet. 3:21; cf. Acts 2:38, 22:16, Rom. 6:3–4, Col. 2:11–12).
    By the Sacrament of Baptism, …. baptism of blood…martyrdom for Christ, or through baptism of desire such as those who desire baptism at death but cannot receive baptism by water and the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, such as the thief on the cross. There is only One Baptism.

    For those who wish to dispute Catholic teachings and doctrine, please, check the 'Catechism of the Catholic Church', to see what a Catholic really believes instead of trying to tell us what we believe. It is on line and free.

    I would guess that Anglicans who have been unhappy with what has been going on in their ecclesial community checked out the Catechism of the Catholic Church and realized they found Truth between its covers...a Truth that corresponds to the Books of the Bible.

    January 18, 2011 at 12:00 am |
    • Reality

      In conclusion: (getting it in the correct chronological order this time)

      Only for the those interested in a religious update- Judaism and Christianity:

      1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

      New Torah For Modern Minds

      "Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment.

      2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan se-cts.

      The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hit-ti-tes, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.
      earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

      For added "pizz-azz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "fil-icider".

      Current RCC problems:

      Pedo-ph-iliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

      3. Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:

      Adu-lterous preachers, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      January 18, 2011 at 12:36 am |
    • gerald

      Reality,

      You seem to be good at cutting and pasting dump trucks of nonsense from others. Not everyone agrees tat Abraham and Moses didn't existe and David was a provincial King. I've seen shows on public TV demonstrating both. There is nothing more clear to me than the doctrine of original sin. We all sin. It seems natural to us. Of course you probably don't believe in sin. But one could believe a brick wall did not exist and if you run in to it at 90 miles per hour it's existence will be apparent. As for the priest scandal it just shows that the Church is a hospital for sinners more than a hotel for saints. I doubt you are perfect. Probably why you are striking out so hard against Christ's Church. Sad.

      January 18, 2011 at 7:36 am |
    • chief

      re catholicmom.... this person is most likely a priest mascerading as a mom...... its the same rhetoric the priests use in other posting when people are outaged about the peds in the rc church

      January 18, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • Something

      @chief

      "re catholicmom.... this person is most likely a priest mascerading as a mom."

      No, I don't think she is; but they have trained her well, and Catholic websites provide lots of help in being an apologist.

      January 18, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
    • Patience

      Reading this makes my dceiinsos easier than taking candy from a baby.

      November 10, 2011 at 4:37 am |
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      November 11, 2011 at 3:59 am |
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      c1NhoB tkbqcafordcb

      November 12, 2011 at 6:53 am |
  6. gerald

    I acknowledge that while you were Catholic you appear not to have known the teachings very well and so it may not have been out of malice that you have distorted the teachings. My feathers aren't ruffled at all. I am a person who speaks directly. That is my style. Sorry you are offended by it. The arguments you use are those of standard protestant rhetoric about Catholicism. "i.e. there are no second chances". This leads me to believe that you have been reading protestant books and websites and presenting what you have heard from them. Again go to the Catechism for the straight scoop. It is readily available online. To bowl a straw man over is a common term with regard to debate in which in order to refute anothers argument the debator presents it in a manner that is inaccurate and oversimplified so that he can easily refute it. A straw man is easy to knock over.

    January 17, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
    • BellaDona

      gerald, You said:

      I acknowledge that while you were Catholic you appear not to have known the teachings very well and so it may not have been out of malice that you have distorted the teachings. My feathers aren't ruffled at all. I am a person who speaks directly. That is my style. Sorry you are offended by it. The arguments you use are those of standard protestant rhetoric about Catholicism. "i.e. there are no second chances". This leads me to believe that you have been reading protestant books and websites and presenting what you have heard from them. Again go to the Catechism for the straight scoop. It is readily available online. To bowl a straw man over is a common term with regard to debate in which in order to refute anothers argument the debator presents it in a manner that is inaccurate and oversimplified so that he can easily refute it. A straw man is easy to knock over.

      Gerald, I n response to your comment above, I would like to say that I have done everything within my grasp, (including apology) to relay that distorting any Catholic teachings was not, nor is, my intent. I can't do anymore then that. I am sorry you feel that way, and I never said I was offended by your "directness". Seems there is a certain amount of hostility towards me, on your part, although I could be wrong.
      However, I to am direct,and this is how I express my thoughts and feelings on subject matter, Regardless of your assumation of how much I understood Catholic teachings, I can assure you I understood them well, but do not agree with them all. Period. I also am aware of the Catholic Catechism on line, in fact I have a folder of Catholic websites as well.

      Yes, I use websites (Protestant by your standard) and sometimes I feel they can express my thoughts better then I could as long as they say what I personally believe. I think alot who post do the same.
      In regards to your comment here,
      To bowl a straw man over is a common term with regard to debate in which in order to refute anothers argument the debator presents it in a manner that is inaccurate and oversimplified so that he can easily refute it. A straw man is easy to knock over
      I can only say, what defines inaccurate? Is it inaccurate because it disagree's with the suject matter at hand, and what is presented by the subject matter? I could say that your Catechism is inaccurate because it was not in agreement with the beliefs that I have been taught or true, as an example. If what I present is "oversimplified", mayby its because it is simple on its face.
      I have not tried to bowl anybody over, and have been sincere with my postings to the best of my ability. I am not trying to easily refute anything. Just giving what I can, the best I can.
      I am still open to debate with you, but I do hope the personal insults and insinuations can stop. It is not my intent to act in a manner that is un christian like, but some of your comments despite my best efforts to derail any negatism, seem to be hard to accomplish.
      If we can agree to debate in a civil and christian like manner, dealing only with the subject matter at hand, I will be glad to debate. I will leave that upp to you
      As I said, I am willing providing the debate is honorable to us both.

      January 18, 2011 at 8:24 am |
    • gerald

      "Seems there is a certain amount of hostility "

      Not in the slightest. You read way to much in to my posts.

      January 18, 2011 at 9:31 am |
  7. BellaDona

    Amen Steve...Good post, Brother!

    January 17, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      All for the glory of God! I am just a willing servant! I think I am about done for tonight so good night and may God richly bless you, BellaDona! I am enjoying your defenses of the faith! Keep it up, many of us in cyberspace feel the same way you do! Stay encouraged and stay blessed!

      January 17, 2011 at 11:14 pm |
  8. gerald

    Bella, you said....

    "I got acused by Gerald on here, of False witness and distortion, just because I expressed my views, that weren't in sync with his beliefs."

    Nope not it at all Bella. I don't care if your beliefs are not mine. Well I do but that was not the issue I was primarily addressing. You made claims against the Catholic Church that are simply and verifably false. That is bearing false witness. I don't mind if someone states what the Catholic Church actually teaches and then presents there evidence that they think proves it false. But distorting the Catholic teachings in order to bowl a straw man over is simply dishonest. I'm sorry.

    January 17, 2011 at 9:04 pm |
    • gerald

      I should add that Catholic teaching is made quite plain in our Catechism. Go read it and come back here with facts regarding what it teaches and I will be glad to discuss it without telling you that you are bearing false witness.

      January 17, 2011 at 9:06 pm |
    • BellaDona

      Well Gerald,
      Again, Forgive me that I did not present that in the order that you would have found acceptable. I can assure you that I did not do anything willfully to distort any teachings of the CC, had no intent of malice that way at all. Wether you believe me or not, is your choice, but God knows my heart is not in that place.
      I have no idea what your expression of "bowl a straw man over" intends, although it does not sound honorable.
      I have not bore any false witness, but spoke from my heart about what I believe. If I am guilty of that by that measure, then I ask forgiveness of all that I offended, including the Lord's.
      That being said, just exactly what have I said that has so ruffled your feathers?
      Having been in the Catholic Church for many years before leaving, I may not have to read it.
      Just tell me what it is you want me to discuss?

      January 17, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
  9. gerald

    Bella Donna,

    Where in Catholic theology does it say there are second chances.

    "There are no second chances after you breathe your last breathe"

    If you are referring to purgatory this is a protestant "tradition" and a false one that purgatory is a second chance. Purgatory like I said above is a cleansing/ a final sanctification before entry in to heaven. Those in purgatory have been judged as bound for heaven. It is not a second chance but the cleansing fire of Gods love ridding us of any and all tendancy toward sin, infirmity, and douds. Making our perfection complete because NOTHING UNCLEAN can enter heaven. I bet you still sin. I do. Well in heaven there is no sin.

    January 17, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
    • BellaDona

      Gerald, I never said there were any second chances in Catholic Theology.
      What I said, was a general statement, which was, "there are no second chances after you breathe your last breath.
      That does include Purgatory.
      May I refer you for more clarity, by using TM's post above?
      TM

      WHY DO PROTESTANTS DISAGREE WITH THE DOCTRINE OF PURGATORY? Simply because it is a denial of the doctrine of the atonement. The Bible says that when Christ died for our sins it was for all of them, with no division of type between the penalties before or after conversion.. Allow me to REVISIT the PURPOSE of purgatory – to purge or wash or cleanse us from sins. Heb. 1:3 says Christ by Himself purged us from our sins. I John 1:7 says the blood of Christ cleanseth us from all sin.
      Rev. 1:5 says Jesus washed us from our sins in His blood. Colossians 1:14 says God has blotted out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, nailing it to the cross. I Cor. 6:11 refers to the carnal people (3:1) in Corinth (!) in these terms: "And such were some of you; but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus...I Cor. 6:11 In every case we see the purpose of purgatory as having ALREADY BEEN ACCOMPLISHED BY CHRIST. This is re-echoed by Hebrews chapters 8 through 10 where it is repeatedly stated that Christ was offered for us ONCE FOR ALL TIME!
      "And such were some of you; but you are washed, but you are SANCTIFIED, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus...I Cor. 6:11 (PLEASE NOTE THE WORD SANCTIFIED)

      the rest reads...In every case we see the purpose of purgatory as having ALREADY BEEN ACCOMPLISHED BY CHRIST. This is re-echoed by Hebrews chapters 8 through 10 where it is repeatedly stated that Christ was offered for us ONCE FOR ALL TIME
      Yes, I am a sinner, but have been cleansed and santified by Jesus, as you have.

      January 17, 2011 at 9:33 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Hello Gerald,

      I would like to jump into this:
      1. Do you believe the blood of Christ perfectly cleanses us from ALL sin? If you do (I do), why a second cleansing?
      2. The following concerns Stephen (from Acts 7:56-59):

      56And said , Behold , I see the heavens opened , and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.
      57Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,
      58And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.
      59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying , Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.

      Stephen saw directly into Heaven and not a holding place. he then asked Jesus to receive his spirit

      3. Paul's words from 2 Corinthians 5:6-8

      6Therefore we are always confident , knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
      7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
      8 We are confident , I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

      Out of this I understand that once we leave this Earth, we are immediately ushered into Heaven and into the presence of the Lord

      Your thoughts (especially on the blood that I believe throughly and completely cleanses us from ALL sin.

      January 17, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
    • gerald

      Steve,
      In answer to your first question, I will ask a couple of questions. If you sin after you were initially cleansed has Christ cleansed you before the fact? Do you believe in a process of sanctification? Your question would seem to indicate not. But scripture indicates the process of sanctification over time. Paul speaking to Christians speaks of them being sanctified yet.....Even after having been sanctified. For instance:
      Rom.6

      1. [19] I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations

      1Thes.5

      1. [23] May the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

      Now I do believe that at baptism one is completely sanctified as I said above. We have been sanctifed. But wa are also being sanctified of our sins committed after baptism. Sins cannot be cleansed before they are committed. They damage the sou at the time of commission. Scripture also speaks of furture sanctification. It speaks of it in these three ways and Catholic theology makes sense of this. Now again, if this process of sanctification is not completed at death something has gotta give. Again it is Christ doing the cleansing in this life and before our entry in to heaven in purgatory so I just don't see where anyone would have a problem with it. I believe Christ wholly sanctifies us and is the cause of the sanctification of the soul that is neccessary for every sin.

      January 17, 2011 at 11:23 pm |
    • gerald

      By the way, regarding the process of sanctification, this is common Catholic and PROTESTANT theology.

      January 17, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
    • gerald

      Now with regard to your second question, Catholic theology does not say everyone goes through purgatory. 1 Cor 3:15, speaking of the last things, says "if any mans work is burned up, he will be saved, but as if through fire". Now there are some who's work is not burned up and these are ready for the visions of heaven and God. Again to one who understands Catholic theology Stephen is not problem at all. The scriptures speak of him as being "full of grace" karkichinome. A rare greek term meaning full of grace, ready for heaven. I do appreciate your questions and the respectful manner in which they are asked.

      January 17, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Gerald,

      I do believe in the process of sanctification! What doe s that have to do with a purgatory? You said: Sins cannot be cleansed before they are committed. I wholly disagree! Christ called and and saved us KNOWING we would sin in the future. His blood covered that as well! Again, what does that have to do with a purgatory! His blood cleansed us once and for all. Nothing need to be added as it was a complete work! As He breathed His last few breaths Jesus proclaim "IT IS FINISHED". Nothing needs to be added and nothing can be taken away! The plan of salvation was fully completed!

      January 17, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
    • gerald

      With regard to your third questoin, Paul is only stating the preference for being with the Lord. Other statements of his such as 1 Cor 3:15 which is a clear reference to what happens at judgment must be taken in to account. It is going to be ten below in Minnesota tommmorrow night. I would rather be absent from Minnesota and present in Florida. My statement is no indication that there is no process of getting from Minnesota to Florida. This is clear because Paul is speaking present tense and clearly there is a process of "running the race" that he has to go through in life.

      January 17, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
    • gerald

      Steve,

      You are reading alot in to those words "It is finished".Further your interpretation doesn't work for what you are trying to prove. If it was finished when Christ said those words then we were cleansed before we were even born. Makes no sense. Sorry. It is finished is clearly with regard to all the prophecies of the old testament being fullfilled regarding what he was to do. The grace was earned. But that grace has to be brought forward and applied ot our lives, as salve to the wounds we suffer because of sin.

      Now the word sanctification means to be made holy. It is sin that makes us unholy and so if you believe that we are being sanctified it seems to me you would have to believe, even if you think our sins are already cleansed, there is still something not quite right with us. Can one be more holy than completely holy? Seems to me no. Purgatory is the completion of the process of sanctification that may not be completed in this life. I don't see where that is difficult to understand. It is the grace of God completing what it has started in this life. As an example, the alcoholic may have asked forgiveness of his sin. But he has damage his soul. He still has the desire for a drink and is weak toward that sin. He has damaged his family and his children. His ability to have relationship is damaged. He needs sanctification because relationship is perfect in heaven. He must be made perfect. This is sanctification.

      January 17, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
    • gerald

      Bella, Steve,

      Both of you seem to believe that everything was done 2000 years ago. If "it is finished" means that Christ did it all back then. If once for all means there can be no purgatory today then why does anyone have to repent today? Why doesn't eveyone just go to heaven because 2000 years ago when Christ said "it is finished" it was all done. And then why do some go to hell if Christ finished it 2000 years ago. No it is quite clear that the interpretation of "It is finished" and "once for all" is incorrect. The grace of Christ must be brought forward to hear and now and our lives. It is present in our lives before we come to him, moving us toward him, it is present when we come to faith, and when we are baptized, being cleansed from our sin, and it is present throughout our lives preventing us from sin but also picking us up when we fall in to sin. And if our works are burned up at our judgment it is the agent that will save us "but as if through fire" in purgatory. It is grace that was earned on the cross but it again must be brought forward and applied to the wounds of sin. There is no denial of atonement at all. Christ fully atoned for the sins of every human being on earth. Yet some go to hell because they do not repent and let that sin work in their lives every day. Again saying we deny the atonement is putting up a straw man and bowling it over because we see everything as being directly tied to what Christ did on the cross. Without him we can do nothing. In him we can do all things.

      January 18, 2011 at 12:00 am |
    • gerald

      Steve, help me out. You said above that you do not believe in Once Saved Always Saved. But you have also stated that you believe that Christ cleanses us of future sins. This seems to be in conflict. If we can fall from grace and be severed from Christ as Paul says, sin is the only avenue through which this can happen. Sin is what separates us from God. So please help me understand what seems to be conflicting theology.

      January 18, 2011 at 12:03 am |
    • Steve the real one

      Sorry I was not clear. When we is Jesus crucified all over again? Does He shred Hi sbloos all over agian? Absolutely not! When we sin, we STILL need tro repent of it and ask for giveness of it! The cross was a ONE time work! No more blood to be shed! Sorry Gerald, I was not clear! The teaching of OSAS is the lie I was referring to earlier and I was not calling you a lie! Just want to be clear! I really appreciate te opportunity to hear you and share with you Gerald! Thanks

      January 18, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      Sorry Gerald. I just read what I wrote and it makes no sense to me. I'l start over.

      Sorry I was not clear. When we is Jesus crucified all over again? Does He shed His blood all over again? Absolutely not! When we sin, we STILL need to repent of it and ask for for giveness of it! The cross was a ONE time work! No more blood to be shed! Sorry Gerald, I was not clear! The teaching of OSAS is the lie I was referring to earlier and I was not calling you a lie! Just want to be clear! I really appreciate te opportunity to hear you and share with you Gerald! Thanks

      January 18, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • gerald

      I think I have made it clear that his blood is not shed again. Where have I indicated that I believe that? I have not said I thought you believe it so you must be indicating that you think I do. See posts below. Your posts seem to indicate to me that sanctification can't happen in purgatory because he said on the cross "it is finished". Yet you say that you believe in sanctification happening during life. What am I missing here?

      January 18, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      gerald

      I think I have made it clear that his blood is not shed again. Where have I indicated that I believe that? I have not said I thought you believe it so you must be indicating that you think I do. See posts below. Your posts seem to indicate to me that sanctification can't happen in purgatory because he said on the cross "it is finished". Yet you say that you believe in sanctification happening during life. What am I missing here?
      ------
      I am just making a point and not accusing you of believe more blood is shed. Sanctification is a process, A LIFEtime process. It happens in our lifetime. We grow closer to the Lord as we spend time with him (reading the Word, praying, worshipping, fellowshipping). These are things we do while we live! Don't get me wrong there is fellowship and worship in heaven. I am just saying I believe over time we become more like Jesus via the process of sanctification. When Jesus stated "it is finished" I believe it refers to Salvation and not sanctification! Everything that God needed to do to save us was already accomplished at the cross. Again, sancification is a lifelong process.

      January 18, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • gerald

      Steve,

      Where in scripture are we guaranteed to be fully sanctified in this life? Chapter, vs?

      Did you read my Billy Graham example? Some don't live long after they become Christian. Mankind was created fully in the image of God and that image was distorted in the fall. Man MUST have that image of Christ fully restored to enter heaven. It makes no sense to say that sanctification is a lifelong process in which we become more like Christ but then give no means by which one person goes through 30 years of sanctification and one person a couple of days without reconciling the need to be fully sanctified. There is a big gap in your theology here. Does God wait until the exact right time for someone to die at the exact moment that they are fully sanctified. Again all that needs sanctification in us is what is impure and associated with sin, i.e. unholy because sanctificatin means to be made holy.

      January 18, 2011 at 10:03 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      Hi Gerald! Please don't be offended by my questions and statements. This is how we grow, by learning something new. Anyway,

      Please an dprayerfully read matthew 20:1-12. Jesus is giving a parable or analogy of working in the vineyard. He said something very interesting. He states those that show up for work early gets the SAME wages as those who but work for an hour only. What is your interpretation? Mine is those who come to Christ (the vineyard) very late in life gets the SAME wage (heaven) as those who came so much earlier in life! So to take your Billy Graham example. The one who Dr, Graham ministers to just before the bus drives off te cliff will get the very same wage (heaven) as does Dr Graham who came to Christ much earlier in life! Your thoughts! Sorry I missed you last night!

      January 19, 2011 at 9:58 am |
    • gerald

      Steve, I agree they both get heaven. Amen. We have both agreed that sanctification is not about whether one goes to heaven or not (except that I say sanctification, being made holy, has to happen). We both also agree sanctification is a process I think, i.e. happens over time. You seem to be missing the point of the Billy Graham example. Both are not equally sanctified! when the bus goes over the clif!!!! Now there is no guarantee that either of them would be fully sanctified unless you can find for me a passage that says so. I don't see one anywhere in scripture. Can one be less than fully holy, i.e. completely sanctified? Can the part of the man that still wants a drink enter heaven? Can the part of the man that would go back to his live in girlfriend enter heaven? Can what that is in him that wants to do drugs go straight to heaven? New Chrsitians struggle with these things. Even old Christians struggle with sin.

      January 19, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
  10. BellaDona

    Tm...Thanks, that was a wonderful refernce!

    Hello Steve! Alaways nice to see you!

    January 17, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
    • BellaDona

      Reality.............Reality

      Some rational thinking about atonement theology: (peruse carefully)

      "Moreover, an atonement theology that says God sacrifices his own son in place of humans who needed to be punished for their sins might make some Christians love Jesus, but it is an obscene picture of God. It is almost heavenly child abuse, and may infect our imagination at more earthly levels as well. I do not want to express my faith through a theology that pictures God demanding blood sacrifices in order to be reconciled to us."

      Reality, You do not understand that the BLOOD is life! There is nothing obscene about it. Think of this, if you had a child or wife or loved one, that was in danger of falling over a cliff and dying, would you not shed your blood to save thier life?
      That would truly be an act of unselfish love, wouldn't it?

      .....

      January 17, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Hello BellaDona! You stay blessed!

      January 17, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
    • Reality

      BellaDona,

      Your god is guilty of filicide and you should be very ashamed to even mention his name.

      January 18, 2011 at 8:17 am |
    • gerald

      unReality,

      First of all the Father did not kill the son. Secondly the son chose willingly to be sacrificed. Third, that sacrifice was so that all mankind would not end up for eternity in hell. Quite noble if you ask me. By the way he is your God as well. Acknowledged or not. God bless you.

      January 18, 2011 at 8:26 am |
  11. BellaDona

    CatholicMom
    Your post was quite long, so I am copying it from half way down, after all the statements about Martin Luther.
    I will copy and then mark with 2 astericks, my comments.
    Time permitting, I will address the second of your post to me, otherwise it will have to wait till tomorrow.

    PASTING FROM YOU (CATHOLICMOM)

    Those who fail to profit from the mistakes of others in history are doomed to repeat them.
    "You shall not do as we are now doing; here, everyone does what seems right to himself..."
    Deuteronomy 12:8, Judges 17:6, Judges 21:25
    Isn't this the mindset of a lot of people today?
    "I will do my own thing."
    "What 'feels good' for me is right for me."
    "It does not matter which Church I belong to."
    "Fear not, for I am with thee: turn not aside, for I am your GOD. I have strengthened thee, and have helped thee, and the right hand of My Just One hath upheld thee. Behold all that fight against thee shall be confounded (split into 38,000 pieces maybe?) and ashamed, they shall be as nothing, and the men shall perish that strive against thee."
    Isaias 41:10-11

    ** Ok, This is one of the things that I was talking about. So, Lets say someone leaves the Catholic Church, and becomes a member of another church. Lets say for example, it is the Lutheran Church. We are talking a church that practices the Sacraments (ok, I think they do Baptism and Holy Communion) , they are pretty close with thier beliefs as the Catholic Church. They believe in all the things about God, Salvation and the Trinity. What I am trying to establish here, is that they have some pretty close ties to the Catholic Church.
    That person is saved, has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, has been Baptised, is walking with the Lord and doing as he commands .He/She is doing works, and all the right things in Gods eyes.
    o are you saying, they are not Christians, when Jesus has said they are Justified and cleansed and a new creature in him? When Jesus says, having been baptised, they have the Holy Spirit in them?
    (YOU QUOTED THIS:>> Behold all that fight against thee shall be confounded (split into 38,000 pieces maybe?) and ashamed, they shall be as nothing, and the men shall perish that strive against thee.")

    Yes, and now they are at the ‘ashamed place’ where they are saying ‘they do not need religion at all…. just themselves and their Bible and their perceived relationship with Jesus on their own terms not HIS.’
    ** Why do you insist on saying that this is what people say and do? And, what do you mean, "thier percieved relationship with Jesus on thier own terms not his? Do you not believe what Jesus said about being saved and created a new creature in him? Where does that differ with not being what he wants? Use the makeup of the to compare by, with what I said above using a pretend person joining another church? The person is doing what God wants, so how do you say they are not??

    Do those who say "The Holy Spirit prompted me", realize that it is one of three spirits which is actually doing the "prompting"?
    They are:
    1. The Holy Spirit.
    2. The human spirit within each one of us.
    3. An evil, or demonic spirit.

    These spirits must be discerned, as we are obliged by Holy Scripture to test all spirits.
    "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of GOD; because many false prophets have gone forth into the world."
    1John 4:1

    The testing can be easily done, as we have the Word of GOD with which to discern the spirits.
    If the prompting is contrary to the teaching of Holy Scripture, then most assuredly, it is NOT coming from the Holy Spirit. That leaves us with only two choices, neither of which is from GOD.

    "And every spirit that severs Jesus, is not of GOD, but is of antichrist of whom you have heard that he is coming, and now is already in the world."
    1John 4:3.

    ** I agree. One who is walking with the Lord, will know his Holy Spirit., and if ever in doubt, should test the Spirit. However, a Christian that loves the Lord, and desires to do his work and walk in his way, can be a-s-sured that the Holy Spirit is with him

    So if no man can SEND himself but goes off and does so anyway and others follow, which spirit are they listening to? And today, not wanting religion is still listening to a spirit but it is just the strengthening of the spirit that severed them from Jesus Christ’s founded Church in the beginning.
    ** Jesus Christ said we can never be sn-at-ched from his hand by anything or anybody. When you say "severed" then from Christs founded Church, in the beginning...what do you mean by that? See, if you are saying the physical buiilding called the Catholic Church, I disagree.
    Gods church is the church Jesus founded for ALL believers. Leaving a sect of religion, does not "sever" you from Jesus. What about people who never walked thru any church doors? Jesus loves them as well, and accepts them into his kingdom as well.

    BellaDona, you were so concerned about being excommunicated? That doesn’t sound truthful at all. You left of your own freewill, and want to cry about excommunication?
    *** NO< I never said I personally was, I said that was what was instilled in us, a fear of ex communication or going to Hell. Personally, my realtionship with the Lord was strong enough, I did not have that fear, and I left. I wasn't crying about it,lol.
    I was merely stating that some in the church members had a fear of it, and therefore would never question anything, even things they wanted to talk about, because they were afraid of being kicked out, one way or another.
    *** Fear is not what should bind one to any church, but Love.

    I am sorry you have hardened your heart towards Jesus Christ’s Church, the Catholic Church. Am I now your enemy because I have told you the Truth?
    *** I have not hardened my heart against the Catholic Church. I am upset with alot of the ways the Catholics WITHIN the church (Including preists, popes, etc) are abusing Gods church. Not to mention the people. I think some people in the church are very snobbish, and act very pious instead of loving, jjust because they think they can. God said the greatest gift we can have is Love. I don't see that being put into action too much.
    I got acused by Gerald on here, of False witness and distortion, just because I expressed my views, that weren't in sync with his beliefs. I told him I forgave him, as he did not know what he was saying or doing.....to which he responded "huh"?
    Good Christian following, exercising the fruits of the Holy Spirit? Hmmm, well I will let God be the judge of that. We are all responsible for our own actions and words. Mine were honest, even if not all right.

    Last, you said: Am I now your enemy because I have told you the Truth?

    Of course not. You are a sister in Christ, as far as I am concerned. That is the truth as you believe it to be, and I have told you the truth as I believe it to be.

    Thank you for writing. I will try to get to the other post tomorrow. Perhaps we can discuss, point by point, some other things on my mind. I enjoy conversing when it is at least civil.I am someone who will admit I am wrong if I have been enlightened by something that I may have previously though otherwise about
    Now, You Have a Nice Evening! Bella

    January 17, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
  12. TM

    WHY DO PROTESTANTS DISAGREE WITH THE DOCTRINE OF PURGATORY? Simply because it is a denial of the doctrine of the atonement. The Bible says that when Christ died for our sins it was for all of them, with no division of type between the penalties before or after conversion.. Allow me to REVISIT the PURPOSE of purgatory – to purge or wash or cleanse us from sins. Heb. 1:3 says Christ by Himself purged us from our sins. I John 1:7 says the blood of Christ cleanseth us from all sin.

    Rev. 1:5 says Jesus washed us from our sins in His blood. Colossians 1:14 says God has blotted out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, nailing it to the cross. I Cor. 6:11 refers to the carnal people (3:1) in Corinth (!) in these terms: "And such were some of you; but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus...I Cor. 6:11 In every case we see the purpose of purgatory as having ALREADY BEEN ACCOMPLISHED BY CHRIST. This is re-echoed by Hebrews chapters 8 through 10 where it is repeatedly stated that Christ was offered for us ONCE FOR ALL TIME!

    9:24-26, 10:10, 12, 14. And Heb. 10:17-18 state this: "And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin." We believe the blood of Christ is sufficient to deliver all who believe from purgatory, and no more offering is needed.

    WHAT GREEK WORDS HELP US UNDERSTAND MORE ABOUT THE PURGATORY CONCEPT? First we need to point out that the word "once" used in Hebrews 10 above means once for all time.

    Secondly, The catholic catechism mentions this idea of purgatory as a final SATISFACTION of the penalty. But Rom. 3:24-25 states that God set forth Christ to be a PROPITIATION (for our sins) through faith in His blood. Propitiation is a Greek word that means SATISFACTION!

    Third, when he died, he said, "It is finished"... a Greek term meaning paid in full!

    Also, Romans 8:1-2 says there is now NO CONDEMNATION to us as ones who have believed in Christ, as does John 1:18. and John 5:24 The one who believes is not condemned. The Greek word condemned is translated JUDGED in other passages, so we are being told that faith in Christ's blood delivers us from any negative JUDGMENT such as purgatory.

    Further, most of the Epistles are addressed to the "Saints" in a given area or city. The word saint comes from the same root word as HOLY. He is writing to those whom God sees as HOLY, and that includes ALL who are saved. We know that because there are no secondary chapters in the Epistles addressed to "the rest of you less-than-saints"! (The carnal Christians at Corinth (3:1) are referred to in I Cor 1:2 as "them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints") HOW could Paul refer to these people as SANCTIFIED? The words holy and sanctified also mean set apart. God sets believers apart as His own.

    Justification is also translated as righteousness in the new testament, and has to do with our legal standing...but sanctification is our level of MATURITY or spiritual GROWTH, which would seem to be a process. Yet, In I Thess 5:23 we read this: "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." It would appear that the completion of the sanctification process is in GOD's hands! Yes, we cooperate with it, (if the Spirit is in you, you will want to follow Christ) but Phil. 1:6 says that what God STARTS He FINISHES, so we can be secure in our destiny. The truth is that there is a sense in which God not only justifies us when we believe in His shed blood, but also SANCTIFIES us, and then glorifies us. Romans 8:29-30 speaks of this sort of "escalator" action for all who start the process of steps complete it by God's power!

    http://www.sainttalk.com/Purgatory.htm

    January 17, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      TM,

      Excellent post! Praise God!

      January 17, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • Reality

      Some rational thinking about atonement theology: (peruse carefully)

      "Moreover, an atonement theology that says God sacrifices his own son in place of humans who needed to be punished for their sins might make some Christians love Jesus, but it is an obscene picture of God. It is almost heavenly child abuse, and may infect our imagination at more earthly levels as well. I do not want to express my faith through a theology that pictures God demanding blood sacrifices in order to be reconciled to us."

      "Traditionally, Christians have said, 'See how Christ's passion was foretold by the prophets." Actually, it was the other way around. The Hebrew prophets did not predict the events of Jesus' last week; rather, many of those Christian stories were created to fit the ancient prophecies in order to show that Jesus, despite his execution, was still and always held in the hands of God."

      "In terms of divine consistency, I do not think that anyone, anywhere, at any time, including Jesus, brings dead people back to life." – JD Crossan

      January 17, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Reality, Crossan was/i a liberal, right? All your sources liberal? Do you have any that are not misguided?

      January 17, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • Reality

      In conclusion:

      Only for the those interested in a religious update- Judaism and Christianity:

      1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

      New Torah For Modern Minds

      "Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment.

      2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan se-cts.

      The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hit-ti-tes, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.
      earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

      For added "pizz-azz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "fil-icider".

      Current RCC problems:

      Pedo-ph-iliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

      3. Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:

      Adu-lterous preachers, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      January 18, 2011 at 12:34 am |
  13. BellaDona

    Are you sinless? I.e. do you believe in sanctification? Are you fully sanctified? If you die this instant how does the "rest" of the sanctification happen? (SEE MY POST RIGHT ABOVE THIS)

    Your statement about the thief was answered about. he is an example of infused righteousness.

    All I have time for at the moment. You distort and bear false witness.

    YOU owe me an apology. But I FORGIVE you, as you know not what you do..or say.

    January 17, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • gerald

      Huh?

      January 17, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  14. BellaDona

    Sorry, Gerald.
    If I believe that Jesus Christ died for my sins, and have asked for his forgiveness, he says I am JUSTFIED and SANTIFIED and saved thru the Blood he shed. How is that bearing false witness...and DO NOT call your God a lier!

    January 17, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • gerald

      If one reads your posts and mine, the lies about the CC are clear.

      January 17, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  15. BellaDona

    To tell a lie. To say someone has done something they have not. Swearing you know something when you know it is untrue. Additionally, bearing false witness means to receive a lie as if were the truth. If you were not there to witness, and swear it to be true you in turn are a false witnes

    January 17, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • gerald

      I know what it means.

      January 17, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
  16. gerald

    " I said "WORKS" alone won't get you to heaven! I never said belief was all that was necessary."

    Where did I say works alone get anyone to heaven? Where does the CC say it?

    Where did I say all those outside the Catholic Church go to hell. Read paragraph 818 in the Catechism if you want to know what the CC teaches. The CC does not say we are the only Christians.

    To venerate means to honor. Mary said "all generations shall call me blessed". Honor her. Do you? Was this just her big ego? Statues are not gods. There is no idol. You are following protestant traditions in thinking there is. We know there is only ONE GOD!

    Are you sinless? I.e. do you believe in sanctification? Are you fully sanctified? If you die this instant how does the "rest" of the sanctification happen?

    Your statement about the thief was answered about. he is an example of infused righteousness.

    All I have time for at the moment. You distort and bear false witness.

    January 17, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  17. BellaDona

    Gerald...How do you think you are bearing False Witness against your church?

    January 17, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • gerald

      I am bearing false witness against my church?

      January 17, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  18. BellaDona

    CORRECTION
    I said I was promised by God, that if I accepted,(for it is by his grace that I am saved) what Jesus *cross did on the cross
    Make that
    I said I was promised by God, that if I accepted,(for it is by his grace that I am saved) what Jesus CHRIST did on the cross

    January 17, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  19. BellaDona

    Well, calm down Gerald. If you believe Peter is the rock, believe it.

    Second, You are immersed in the DOCTRINAL belief of the Catholic Church. Listen , I NEVER said we did not have to do

    works. I said "WORKS" alone won't get you to heaven! I never said belief was all that was necessary.

    I said I was promised by God, that if I accepted,(for it is by his grace that I am saved) what Jesus cross did on the cross for me, I am forgiven and cleansed from all sin! A new creature in Christ. I am Baptised, and filled with the Holy Spirit, and thru the Holy Spirit I will be led, and do good works as the Lord commanded.
    Please do NOT twist what I said.

    I don't need to go to purgatory, for to suffer, Jesus did it for me on the cross! I can't pay for my sins, because Jesus did it on the cross.
    I will not perish, as God has promised me eternal life in heaven with him.

    Now since you have told me about the devil, may I tell you the devil takes mens soul by leading them into false teachings and practices and doctrine.

    Following Traditions of Men and not the The Traditions of God

    Like believing that after death, you still have a chance to get into heaven, by suffering in purgatory (a made up place), When God already PAID for your sins

    Getting paid for INDULGENCES, or prayed into Heaven

    That kissing statues and bowing to them, is idol worship (i know, its just a "reminder" you say. Like having a picture of a loved one...well, when was the last time you made a statue of the picture, and kissed its feet?

    Venerating The Blessed Mother (Marian Woeship)

    Praying to saints and Communicating with the dead....Shall I go on?

    BTW...the persecuted Christians you spoke of, were not the Catholics, they were Bible believing CHRISTIANS who refused to believe in the Catholic Churches authority and Traditions. They would not honor the Pope as Vicar Of Christ.

    Another thing..The Catholic Church is very smug, in classifying themselves as the only CHRISTIANS, and tend to put Lutherans and Methodists and other faiths down. The Pharisses acted in the same manner
    . They are the ones that will say Lord, Lord, and He will say Get Away From Me, I never Knew You!
    That is how most Catholics act...Remamber, Jesus even hung out with Tax collectors and pros-ti–t-utes, he loved all people and still does,

    JESUS EXTENDED HIS SALVATION AND BAPTISM TO ALL THE PEOPLE OF THE WORLD.... YOU REFER TO ALL PEOPLE OUTSIDE THE "CATHOLIC" RELIGION AS PROTESTANTS...BECAUSE THEY PROTESTED the horrible things the Catholic Church was doing and broke from it. Don't twist words

    Do you not think any of those outside the RCC will go to Heaven, be cleansed in the Blood of Jesus? ANYONE who is saved by the Blood of JESUS CHRIST, is a sister or brother to YOU, if you are truly saved.
    How can you not acknowledge what the Lord has said regarding this?

    Just remember this...The thief on the cross, He was not a "CATHOLIC", and he asked forgiveness, and JESUS IMMEDIATELY said he would be with him in Paradise!

    Get agrip Gerald. Satan has you blinded. Trying to remain faithful to the Catholic Church (Magestrium, Catechisms, Papal Authority, dictated by men) and not to Jesus Christ, will get you in some serious trouble someday. There are no second chances after you breathe your last breathe.

    January 17, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • gerald

      What makes you think I am the slightest bit angry. Because I speak directly to you does not in any way show I am angry. I just like to point out when one is violating God's command of bearing false witness. Especially against his church. More later.

      January 17, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  20. gerald

    I might add that initially God puts us in grace by his sacrament of baptism. "repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins and you shall receive the Holy Spirit". After that God working in us provides the works spoken of in Rom 2:4-8 that you must deny.

    January 17, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Gerald, I agree we must work BUT that work DOES NOT save us! God is STILL working and I must continue to do His will as well BUT again, my work is BECAUSE I am saved. I do not work to get saved! there is a world of difference between the two !

      January 17, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • gerald

      The work that God gives us to do is like excercise for our spiritual bodies. He feeds us in the Eucharist and gives us the work to do so we don't get flabby. The work does not "save" in the sense that is is the source of salvation. The source for both faith and works is grace. But one must have BOTH faith and works to enter heaven. Rom 2:4-8 is clear on that.

      January 17, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Not sure why you are judging what I deny or not! Hear me clearly, I deny NO scripture! I am stating faith ONLY leads to salvation! Work is a result of of our salvation! Ever heard of a deathbed conversion? Folks who wait that late have NO TIME to work!

      January 17, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Gerald,

      I think we are seriously misunderstanding each other! I agree we have to work to live out our faith! Work is an outward result of what happened on the inside! I also agree it all starts with the grace of God! You really need to be careful telling folks what they believe or deny if that was NEVER stated! That is judgmental! It is not your place nor is it mine to judge!

      January 17, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.