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Religion
See other Religion Articles

Title: US and Catholicism in Crisis
Source: VDare
URL Source: http://www.vdare.com/articles/us-and-catholicism-in-crisis
Published: Sep 22, 2015
Author: Pat Buchanan
Post Date: 2015-09-22 01:15:27 by nativist nationalist
Keywords: None
Views: 1108
Comments: 24


Pope Francis shakes hands with Fidel Castro.

During the 1950s, the twin pillars of worldwide anti-communism were Dwight Eisenhower’s America and the Roman Catholic Church of Pope Pius XII.

During the 1980s, the last decade of the Cold War, Ronald Reagan and the Polish pope, John Paul II, were the pillars of resistance.

When Pope Francis arrives in Washington on Tuesday afternoon, the country he enters will be a very different one from Eisenhower’s America or Reagan’s America. And Catholics will be welcoming a new kind of pope.

In America 2015, homosexuality, abortion on demand and same-sex marriage— shameful crimes in Ike’s America, mortal sins in the catechism of Pius XII— have become constitutional rights.

These represent the values that define Barack Obama’s America, the values our officials defend at the United Nations, the values we preach to the world.

What Ike’s America saw as decadence, Obama’s America calls progress. And among its noisiest celebrants are our Catholic vice president, Joe Biden, and the Catholic leader of the Democratic Party in the House, former Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Since Eisenhower’s time, Christianity, the faith that created the West, has been purged from American public life. The Bible, prayer, and all Christian art, books and symbols have been expunged from the public schools as they were in Cuba when Fidel Castro took power.

Our cradle faith cannot be taught in our public schools.

America is a different country today, a secular and post-Christian nation on its way to becoming anti-Christian. Some feel like strangers in their own land. And from the standpoint of traditional Catholicism, American culture is an open sewer. A vast volume of the traffic on the Internet is pornography.

Ironically, as all this unfolds in what was once “God’s country,” Vladimir Putin seeks to re-establish Eastern Orthodox Christianity as the basis of morality and law in Russia. And one reads in The Wall Street Journal on Monday that Xi Jinping is trying to reintroduce his Chinese Communist comrades to the teachings of Confucianism.

The world is turned upside down. Every civilization seems to recognize the necessity of faith except for the West, which has lost its faith and is shrinking and dying for lack of it.

In a New York Times article this month—“Are Western Values Losing Their Sway?”—Steven Erlanger writes:

“In its rejection of Western liberal values of sexual equality and choice, conservative Russia finds common cause with many in Africa and with the religious teachings of Islam, the Vatican, fundamentalist Protestants and Orthodox Jews.”

Yet what Erlanger describes as “conservative Russia” does seem to share values with America, only it is the America of 1955, another country from the America of 2015.

Which raises a question: Does moral truth change?

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote, “The best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market.”

But is this true? A decade after his beer hall putsch failed in Munich, Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party won the largest number of Germans ever to vote in a democratic election. He had succeeded in the marketplace of ideas. Did that democratic ratification make Hitler’s ideas true?

Or does truth exist independent of the marketplace?

Secular America, which has purged Christianity, preaches a new gospel to the world: liberal democracy as the salvation of mankind.

Yet did not Winston Churchill, icon of the democracy worshippers, tell us that “the best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter”?

The Catholic Church, too, faces a growing crisis of moral consistency and credibility.

The church of Pius XII and John Paul II taught that the truths of the Ten Commandments brought down from Sinai and the truths of the Sermon on the Mount are eternal. Those popes also taught that a valid marriage is indissoluble, that homosexuality is unnatural and immoral, that abortion is the killing of the innocent unborn, an abomination.

Yet one reads regularly of discussions inside the Vatican to alter what is infallible church teaching on these doctrines to make the church more appealing to those who have rejected them.

As the pope arrives in America, some Catholics are calling for an acceptance of contraception, the ordination of women and a new acceptance of homosexuality. Yet the Episcopalians, who have embraced all these “reforms” and more, appear to be going the way of James Fenimore Cooper’s Mohicans.

In Cuba, Pope Francis declined to address the repression of the Castro brothers. Will he also avoid America’s moral crisis to chatter on about income inequality and climate change and find common ground with Obama?

What has come out of the Vatican in the past two years is moral confusion. Yet as Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput reminds us, “confusion is of the devil.” It is also trifling with schism.

Having emerged victorious in the 70-year ideological struggle against one of the greatest enemies that mankind has ever known, Marxism-Leninism, are the United States and the Catholic Church heading for the same desuetude and disintegration?


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Mel Gibson for Pope!(1 image)

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#1. To: nativist nationalist (#0)

It is not moral confusion for the Church to directly address income inequality and poverty. That is as much of its duty as addressing sexual depravity.

However, the Church cannot change the Law of God on sexual depravity either.

Depravity is depravity, whether it is heterosexual adultery, homosexual sodomy, pornography, the charging of interest on loans, the refusal to remit debts after 6 years - all of it is evil of a high order, and all of it destroys people.

Vicomte13  posted on  2015-09-22   7:23:53 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: nativist nationalist (#0)

During the 1950s, the twin pillars of worldwide anti-communism were Dwight Eisenhower’s America and the Roman Catholic Church of Pope Pius XII.

During the 1980s, the last decade of the Cold War, Ronald Reagan and the Polish pope, John Paul II, were the pillars of resistance.

It just plain ignores the fact that during the 1960s, the GOPs "Southern Strategy" was to embrace ignorant, anti-Catholic & racist intolerance and bigoty.

F*CK Richard M Nixon... and F*CK all the paranoid GOP born-again bigots who followed him.

Willie Green  posted on  2015-09-22   9:02:38 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: nativist nationalist (#0)

Good article. Thanks.

To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.---Revelation 1:5b-6

redleghunter  posted on  2015-09-22   9:20:31 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: Willie Green (#2)

It just plain ignores the fact that during the 1960s, the GOPs "Southern Strategy" was to embrace ignorant, anti-Catholic & racist intolerance and bigoty.

Stop the hate Willie. Quit living in the past dude.

To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.---Revelation 1:5b-6

redleghunter  posted on  2015-09-22   9:21:44 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: Willie Green (#2)

F*CK Richard M Nixon... and F*CK all the paranoid GOP born-again bigots who followed him.

Justified  posted on  2015-09-22   9:40:00 ET  (1 image) Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#6. To: Vicomte13 (#1)

Depravity is depravity, whether it is heterosexual adultery, homosexual sodomy, pornography, the charging of interest on loans, the refusal to remit debts after 6 years - all of it is evil of a high order, and all of it destroys people.

The charging of interest on loans and refusal to remit debits after six years is law keeping and not the gospel, which effectively makes the cross of no effect.

Error, indeed, is never set forth in its naked deformity, lest, being thus exposed, it should at once be detected. But it is craftily decked out in an attractive dress, so as by its outward form, to make it appear to the inexperienced … more true than truth itself—Irenaeus, Against Heresies

GarySpFC  posted on  2015-09-22   9:49:34 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#7. To: Willie Green (#2)

F*CK Richard M Nixon... and F*CK all the paranoid GOP born-again bigots who followed him.

Poor Willie. You're still upset that he did not rank Paterno's Pedophile State as the number one football team! Sounds like you want to do Nixon like he was an 11 year boy in Paterno's locker room.

nativist nationalist  posted on  2015-09-22   10:46:43 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#8. To: Vicomte13 (#1)

Depravity is depravity, whether it is heterosexual adultery, homosexual sodomy, pornography, the charging of interest on loans, the refusal to remit debts after 6 years - all of it is evil of a high order, and all of it destroys people.

Boy's being raped in Paterno's locker room is depravity also.

nativist nationalist  posted on  2015-09-22   10:47:58 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#9. To: nativist nationalist (#7)

u're still upset that he did not rank Paterno's Pedophile State as the number one football team!

Actually, Pat Buchanan also thought that Nixon erred in that decision.

As for the Sandusky scandal, I think that the individuals should be held accountable for their own actions (or lack of action.) That includes the 3 incompetent administrators who were fired (Curley, Schultz & Spanier) as well as Paterno himself. (as far as I'm concerned, they should melt his statue and sell it for scrap.)

But I don't smear the entire institution. I'll leave that up to BIGOTS such as yourself.

Willie Green  posted on  2015-09-22   13:59:41 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#10. To: nativist nationalist (#8)

Boy's being raped in Paterno's locker room is depravity also.

Obviously.

Vicomte13  posted on  2015-09-22   17:13:53 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#11. To: GarySpFC, redleghunter (#6)

'Until the sky and the land pass away, not one iota nor penstroke of the Law shall pass away' - Jesus Christ.

'What good does it do you to say you follow me if you do not keep my commandments?' - Jesus Christ.

'And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.' - Jesus Christ

'Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil: for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.' - 1 John 3:7-8

'Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then we have confidence toward God, and whatsoever we ask, we receive of him because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment: that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him.' 1 John 3:21-24

'Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God; but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.' - 3 John 11

'to the angel of the church of Ephesus write:...I know thy works and they labor...Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou has left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works, or else... To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life...'

'to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ...I know they works, and tribulation, and poverty (but thou art rich)...He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.'

'to the angel of the church in Pergamos write:...I know they works...But I have a few things against thee...to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.... Repent...To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna...'

'to the angel of the church in Thyatira write:...I know they words, and charity, and service, and faith, and they patience and thy words; and the last to be more than the first. Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel...to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols...And he that overcometh, and keepeth my words, to him I will give power over the nations...He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.'

'to the angel of the church in Sardis write: I know thy works...Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die; for I have not found thy works perfect before God...Thou has a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white, for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life...'

'to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:...I know thy works; behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. ... Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation...'

'and unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans, write:...I know thy works, that thou art neither cold not hot: I wert thou were cold or hot...As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous therefore, and repent....To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne...'

The letters are from Revelations 2-3.

Note well: these are baptized Christians to whom he speaks. Believers. He is speaking to the Churches, not to people outside of the faith. Works, works, works...and for what did he threaten punishment? Breaking tenets of the Law - his law.

He repeatedly promises rewards in heaven to those among the Churches - and not all of these baptized Christians in each Church - who "overcome". Overcome WHAT? The examples he gives are commissions of sins - breaches of the law of God. He calls them to repent, to stop breaking his Law. Reward for obedience, punishment for disobedience. Over and over again he repeats it.

He also speaks of rewarding those for their patience. What is that?

Rev 14:12 "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus."

Lawkeeping.

And then the final denoument of it all - straight out of the mouth of God - if you wonder WHAT Law you had BETTER Keep, and had BETTER teach every other man to keep, here is what God says to you on the last pages of the Bible...with nothing after it to rely upon to reverse it - think of it as a FINAL WARNING to actually OBEY THE LAW OF JESUS:

"He that overcometh shall inherit all thigs: and I will be his God, and he sall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lakw with burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." - God Almighty.

And then finally, on the very last page of Scripture, Jesus says the same thing:

"behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give to every man according as his work shall be. ...Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are the dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolators, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie." - Jesus Christ.

So, there you have it.

Yes, there is a law. Yes, you will be judged by your WORKS, by what you DO, not just by your faith and what you believe. I just gave pages and pages of God and Jesus both saying that explicitly in the very last book.

To what shall you oppose God Almighty and His Son sitting in heaven telling you to obey SPECIFIC ENUMERATED LAWS or be thrown in Hell? A line of Paul?

Is there a Gospel of Paul? No, only Christ crucified.

There is a law. Believe in Christ - including in the fact that he says that there is a law you must obey. Keep his law, do the works of the law and avoid the prohibited works, be judged on those works by doing the good ones and avoiding the illegal ones. Or be thrown into Hell.

God Almighty and Jesus just SAID that, to seven Churches full of baptized Christians and to the whole world too.

Stop resisting it. You and I and everybody else is bound by God's Law, and if we don't keep it, we burn.

Sacrifices in the Temple? No. He destroyed the Temple. Tithes? No, they were to the Levites, who are destroyed?

And yet the Law remains, and Christians must keep it, or lose salvation, just exactly as Jesus and his Father said 12 times over and more right there.

There's a human tradition that has built up that says otherwise. Chuck it. It's bad.

Vicomte13  posted on  2015-09-22   18:10:07 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#12. To: Vicomte13, GarySpFc (#11)

You missed one very important command of Christ. The others won't make sense without this:

John 3:

5 Jesus answered,“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

That is one command no man or woman can 'try' to follow or strive to. One is either born of the Spirit or not. If not, then no entering the Kingdom of God. YHWH tells us how this happens in Ezekiel 36:

Ezekiel 36:

26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.

The above from God in the OT and NT clearly states Who is enabling. It's God not man.

Now, what I commented on above does not imply in any way that those who are Born Again of Spirit (Above) can ignore the Law. The Law is God's Righteous mind and as Kingdom citizens as Born of Spirit, we love His ways and emulate Him.

Yes people will be judged according to their deeds and works if that is where they put their faith and hope in. The result as we see in Revelation is not so good for those who do. Only the people "who washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb" (Rev. 7:14) will enter the Kingdom of God. Those who trust "the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7) enter the Kingdom of God. Not on their own merits but the Merits and Work of Jesus Christ.

So at the Judgment we either present our own 'credentials' before the Father's Throne or we present the Credentials of our Advocate Jesus Christ who knew no sin and was the only Perfect Law keeper.

Enumeration? There's really one that really counts and Jesus enumerated it quite clearly:

John 5:

24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.

To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.---Revelation 1:5b-6

redleghunter  posted on  2015-09-22   19:02:23 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#13. To: redleghunter, Vicomte13 (#12)

So at the Judgment we either present our own 'credentials' before the Father's Throne or we present the Credentials of our Advocate Jesus Christ who knew no sin and was the only Perfect Law keeper.

Obedience to Christ is through knowing Him personally, and the law His Spirit has written on our hearts when we are born from above. When one walks with the Law Giver, he is no longer under law, but walking with the One who perfectly knows the law, and applies His Spirit to guide us into His perfect will.

Error, indeed, is never set forth in its naked deformity, lest, being thus exposed, it should at once be detected. But it is craftily decked out in an attractive dress, so as by its outward form, to make it appear to the inexperienced … more true than truth itself—Irenaeus, Against Heresies

GarySpFC  posted on  2015-09-22   19:36:18 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#14. To: redleghunter (#12) (Edited)

5 Jesus answered,“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

That is one command no man or woman can 'try' to follow or strive to. O

It is not a commandment at all. It is a statement of fact. Men do not choose to be born, either of the flesh OR of the spirit.

It is true that if one is not, one doesn't go anywhere good.

It is also true that one cannot "obey" this commandment at all.

Either God breathes the spirit into you, or he does not. You CAN choose whether or not to steal, or fornicate. You can obey, or not.

You cannot choose to obey "being born again", or "believing", because neither of those things are acts of personal will. They either happen or they do not.

I do not "believe" because I choose to believe. I believe whatever I believe because it has been proven to me, and that proof CAUSES me to believe. I can choose to be receptive or not receptive, but I cannot choose to believe something I do not believe. Nor can I "unbelieve" something I believe. Belief is outside of our power and control.

And THEREFORE it is not a commandment. Believing is not a commandment, and being born again is not a commandment, because no man can cause himself to be born, and no man can cause himself to believe what he does not believe, or to love what he does not love.

Commandments are commands related to things within our power. Belief, and being born again, are not within our power - they are gifts. And because they are gifts, from God, there is no point in going on and on about them. We cannot go out there and "believe". That's nonsense. If I say: you must believe that the President is a space alien, or you will be evaporated on Thursday, that may be completely true, but there is no way, without proof, that you will be ABLE of believing that. And even if shown menacing men with weapons who will liquidate you, you will think that these are men who are serving a lunatic. It will be absolutely IMPOSSIBLE for you to just "believe" something you do not believe, even to save your own life.

Hooked up to a lie detector, life or death, gun to your head, you will only believe that the people doing this are lunatics. Your brain and your heart will never believe that the President is really a blue space alien, to save your life.

And if God said: you must believe that the President is a blue space alien or I shall cast you into Hell, you would not believe that either. You COULD NOT believe it - unless you were given a REASON to believe it.

That is why "Believe" is not a commandment.

For the same reasons, "Be born again" is not a commandment either.

Neither of those things is a choice. Commandments are given over things over which men have a choice, to do or not to do. Things over which men have no choice are not commandments. "Do not fly" is not a commandment: men can't fly.

Fly! without giving us the means to fly, is an impossible command. God knows that, so he doesn't give commands like that. "Believe" and "Be born again" are impossible commands, like "fly" One cannot "choose" to believe. One believes. Or one does not.

Everybody alive knows this from direct experience. You know it yourself. So we should not have to argue about it.

In fact, it is so self-evidently true to me, that if somebody told me "No, you can believe by simply BELIEVING", I would call that person a liar. I cannot do that. I have never been able to do that. That is not the way the human mind and heart work.

If I point at a random woman and command you have passionate love for her, if she does not in fact interest you, that is not something you can do. If I feed you a turd and command you "enjoy it!" you cannot.

One cannot command emotions of the heart and internal conditions of the head that are not under our control. Belief is one such emotion or condition. One does not COMMAND belief.

It comes from within or it doesn't come at all.

One cannot command a man to be born either, either the first time or again. In both cases, the fact of being born are decided without - by biological fact that is irresistible, and by God.

And that is why believing, and being born again, are necessary, but neither are commandments. Belief and the spirit are gifts. They are not acts of obedience. One cannot obey such a command. Or disobey it. It is a status of one's being - belief and being born (either way). Therefore, neither of these crucial things are commandments, because they are not subject to our will or choice.

Vicomte13  posted on  2015-09-22   22:13:48 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#15. To: Vicomte13, Redleghunter (#14)

3 In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."
4 “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!”
5 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
9 “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.
10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13

The Holy Bible: New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1984), Jn 3:3–13.

Try believing what Jesus just said, and forget applying human logic Nicodemus.

Error, indeed, is never set forth in its naked deformity, lest, being thus exposed, it should at once be detected. But it is craftily decked out in an attractive dress, so as by its outward form, to make it appear to the inexperienced … more true than truth itself—Irenaeus, Against Heresies

GarySpFC  posted on  2015-09-22   23:23:53 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#16. To: GarySpFC (#15)

The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

That is what Jesus said.

I myself know that God exists because he grabbed my face and spoke with me several times, showed me the City, one gate of it, from below and afar, and pushed me into the black abyss for a time (in the opposite order).

Therefore, I knew for certain that God is.

He also taught me that he acts on the world through the world as he made it.

So I looked for the concrete miracles he left, and found them, and studied them, and that is why I am sure that Christ is divine, and the Son of God.

Which is why I undertook to read the Bible very carefully, studying the different manuscript and translation traditions, following the inner logic of the text, and of what God said in the text, constantly guided by the presence of God with me as I did it.

I know what God means to be begotten again - I was. I know what the spirit is.

I also know that I didn't CHOOSE to believe any of it. I was grabbed, shown, taught. And with the revelation, I earnestly sought, expecting to find what God left out there to find, and I did.

Nobody telling me just exactly this would have been of any use to me before God grabbed my face. I would have considered somebody telling me that exact thing to either be delusional - and felt sorry for him - or a liar trying to manipulate me.

It was God, alone, who revealed God to me.

God reveals himself to different people in different ways.

There is nothing in the thing that you quoted that would have done me any good whatever before God grabbed my face. I'd read the text before, gone through the Bible front to back twice. The Bible did not cause me to be born again or to believe that God exists.

God did.

So, unlike Nicodemus, I DO understand these things. I understand them very much. The Spirit of God moves where it pleases, and reveals itself to whom it pleases. Those come to the faith to whom God chooses to send his Spirit.

A man can prepare himself by learning what there is to learn, and being open to the Spirit. But no man can command himself to believe. Man can set up the electrodes, but God must provide the spark, or belief does not happen.

That is why being begotten again is a necessity, just like breathing, but it is not a commandment. God has to supply the air, and God has to supply the spirit.

Vicomte13  posted on  2015-09-22   23:44:41 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#17. To: Vicomte13 (#16)

Jesus didn't argue with Nicodemus.

Error, indeed, is never set forth in its naked deformity, lest, being thus exposed, it should at once be detected. But it is craftily decked out in an attractive dress, so as by its outward form, to make it appear to the inexperienced … more true than truth itself—Irenaeus, Against Heresies

GarySpFC  posted on  2015-09-22   23:49:25 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#18. To: Vicomte13 (#16)

A man can prepare himself by learning what there is to learn, and being open to the Spirit. But no man can command himself to believe. Man can set up the electrodes, but God must provide the spark, or belief does not happen.

And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.

Error, indeed, is never set forth in its naked deformity, lest, being thus exposed, it should at once be detected. But it is craftily decked out in an attractive dress, so as by its outward form, to make it appear to the inexperienced … more true than truth itself—Irenaeus, Against Heresies

GarySpFC  posted on  2015-09-23   1:21:20 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#19. To: Vicomte13 (#11)

Don't forget, you must be circumcised. The law is the law. /s/

Psalm 37

Don  posted on  2015-09-23   1:46:19 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#20. To: Don (#19)

Don't forget, you must be circumcised. The law is the law. /s/

The Law is the Law, but knowing what the Law is, is key.

What did circumcision promise, under the Law, specifically?

Specifically, it included the circumcised in the covenant of Abraham.

And what was the promise of that covenant? Eternal life? No. Paradise? No. Passing final judgment? No.

The covenant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, which requires circumcision for a member to be part of, has nothing to do with eternal life or judgment. That covenant is: be a circumcised descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and you get a farm in Israel.

Circumcision was incorporated into the Law, the General Law of Sinai.

And what did THAT law say? Do this law and you shall have prosperity on your farm in Israel. Don't, and you will lose that farm.

So, the Law is fully in force, all of those provisions...but it can't be carried out fully because the Temple was torn down, by God.

A part of that law is ALSO the basis for judgment for eternal life. There is no promise of eternal life to anybody under the SInai Covenant or the Covenant of Abraham. Eternal life was first revealed by Jesus, and Jesus specified the PORTIONS of the Law of God that you can't break if you want to have eternal life: Don't murder, don't be sexually immoral, don't be a liar, or a pharmakon, or a coward or idolatrous unbeliever. Check, check, check.

But circumcision? That part of the Law carries with it the reward of a farm in Israel. If you're uncircumcised, you lose the promise of the farm. But it isn't part of the promise of eternal life. The corpus of law you have to obey to still keep THAT promise is much narrower. Circumcision and food laws and Sabbath keeping and ritual sacrifices and tithes are all part of the Law, still in force, for the descendants of Abraham who want that covenantal farm in Israel.

I'm not descended from Abraham in any direction as far back as the eye can see. It's more likely, as a Basque, that I am descended from Nephilim than from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

I am indeed truly blessed through Abraham, because Jesus came through Abraham. And through the spirit and the water, Jesus and I are brothers, and have God as our spiritual father. (Jesus ALSO has God as his father through the flesh, but MY flesh came by way of Japheth and maybe some fallen angels in the Pyrenees long, long ago.) So, not being a descendant of Abraham by the flesh, there is no inchoate promise of a farm in Israel for ME that comes through God's covenant with Abraham, or his covenant with the Hebrews at Sinai. I'm not a Hebrew. I suppose I could become grafted onto the Hebrew flesh by a conversion, and that would require circumcision, but that seems completely pointless to me, if for no other reason than that even if I do that, there's no farm for me anymore, under the Law. Why? Because God tore down the Temple in 69 AD and wiped out the priesthood. So the mandatory rituals under the Law CANNOT be carried out. Therefore, Jews CANNOT fulfill all of the Law, and therefore, they are not entitled to the farm in Israel anymore, because they are not fulfilling all the terms of the covenant. (Even more specifically: the Sinai covenant was a lease, and it had a penalty clause of eviction. Jesus invoked the penalty clause for non-compliance with the lease, and God sent the Roman Army to effect the eviction.)

So, circumcision is a requirement of two covenants, neither of which apply to me (and if they did, I would not be interested in a farm in Israel anyway. A farm in Michigan would be swell, but circumcision won't get me that). It is part of the Law, and the Law says that if it, and everything else, is fulfilled, the Hebrew gets his secure farm in Israel. I'm not by blood related to Abraham, Isaac or Jacob, and I don't care to be circumcised - therefore, no farm in Israel for me.

That part of the Law has nothing to do with Eternal Life. For the Eternal Life covenant - the revelation that there was, in fact, eternal life, never came until Jesus. He brought a NEW Covenant, which says this: follow me, Jesus, and obey MY commandments, and you shall have a room in God's City at the Resurrection.

He was talking to Jews, and he told them that the Law was in force until the end of the world - if a Jew wanted that farm and all those promises of Sinai, he had to follow that law. But as far as the New Covenant goes, Jesus gave commandments and clarifications that are not in the Sinai covenant. And he changed some of the Sinai covenant (for example: it contains divorce - a Jew can divorce under the law and still get the farm - but he doesn't get eternal life with God if he remarries because he's an adulterer).

Remember: the covenant with Abraham was a promise of a farm for being a circumcised heir. And the covenant at Sinai was a fulfillment of that promise, with conditions of obedience. Neither had a thing to do with eternal life in the city of God.

The covenant with Jesus addresses that, the list of commandments from Jesus is different, thought it includes SOME of the Law. Murder, Sexual Immorality, Idolatry, Perjury - and more - lying, Pharmakeia - THESE aspects of the Law of Sinai would deprive a man of the promise of a farm, but they ALSO deprive a man of his room in God's city, or being able to enter the city at all.

There are three different covenants at play. Some sort of law applies to all three. The Law of God applies over all, but the Law to get the farm in Israel is more expansive on some details than the law to have eternal life.

A man who eats bacon has no right to the farm in Israel under the Sinai covenant: he has broken it. But he does not lose his room in the City of God, because by following Jesus all foods are clean.

So, the answer to your question is that the Law says that if I am not circumcised, if I were a descendant of Abraham, I would lose my title to a farm in Israel. I'm not a descendant of Abraham, so by being uncircumcised, I have lost precisely nothing.

Jesus twice gave the list of the laws the breaking of which will award you with eternal damnation in the lake of fire. "Not being circumcised" is not on that list.

One cannot add the whole list of the Law of Sinai to the things that are required to enter the Kingdom of God, because everything on the list is not required to enter the Kingdom.

In fact, Jesus said only that those who disregard aspects of the Law, and teach others to disregard them, will be least IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD, which means that they're still able to be IN THE KINGDOM.

Being in the Kingdom already means eternal life.

So actually no, I do not have to be circumcised. Circumcision would be completely unavailing for me. I am not a Jew, not a descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. If I were circumcised, I would be a circumcised Gentile. That would not bring me into the biological family of Abraham, and therefore into the land-claim covenant. Circumcision would positively avail me positively nothing, and it would not even be obeying the Law, because circumcision was not given to those who sought everlasting life. It was given to the biological descendants of one man, as a sign of their promise of being heirs to a specific piece of real estate. And nothing more than that.

I'm not his heir by the flesh. By being circumcised I would not become one. I'm a Gentile. The Covenant that I am under is the New One, and while all of the Law remains and is upheld, the portion that counts for eternal life is the part that Jesus said.

If there were still an Israel and Levites, there would still be a tithe. But there isn't, and even if there were, Gentiles outside of Israel were never under the tithe. Following the Law, all of those parts of it that pertained to Jews under the land covenant were NEVER applicable to a Gentile not seeking a farm in Israel. Jesus made clear to everybody what parts of the Law will get a man damned under the New Covenant.

Circumcision is not among those things. It is part of the law that binds Abraham's descendants who want to maintain their land claim. It never applied to Gentiles before Jesus, and Jesus did not apply it to the New Covenant at all.

That's why I don't have to be circumcised, even though it is indeed still very much part of the Law of God.

In a similar vein, I don't have to abstain from sex during my menstrual cycle, because I am not a woman.

The menstrual laws of women don't apply to men on their very terms, because we don't menstruate. The circumcision laws of the Abrahamic Covenant do not apply to Gentiles, because we are not descendants of Abraham and do not expect to have a farm in Israel.

Vicomte13  posted on  2015-09-23   13:47:19 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#21. To: GarySpFC (#17)

Jesus didn't argue with Nicodemus.

And I am not Nicodemus.

Vicomte13  posted on  2015-09-23   13:48:02 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#22. To: Vicomte13 (#20)

A man who eats bacon has no right to the farm in Israel under the Sinai covenant: he has broken it. But he does not lose his room in the City of God, because by following Jesus all foods are clean.

Good! You had me worried there for a minute.

nativist nationalist  posted on  2015-09-23   14:45:40 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#23. To: nativist nationalist (#22)

Well, that's the thing: the Law is layered, and it is real law. Real law applies to the people to whom it applies, in the way it is stated.

God gave two promises to Abraham: Your male descendants who are circumcised will inherit this land, and all of the families of the world will be blessed through you. The second part of the promise was fulfilled through Jesus. The first part of the promise was fulfilled by the takeover of Canaan by the Israelites 40 years after the Exodus from Egypt. There was only one law in the Covenant with Abraham. It can be expressed positively thus: Those of your male descendants who are circumcised will inherit this land. Or it can be expressed negatively: Those of your male descendants who are not circumstances will not inherit this land.

But that's the whole law and covenant with Abraham.

Then we come to Sinai, the BIG slug of law: the Law of Mt. Sinai, also called the Law of Moses.

It is about this Law, with its prohibition of many foods, its ritual, its Sabbath rules, it sacrifice rituals, that people have the most confusion. First, they equate the Law of Moses with "the Law", but that is inaccurate. God gave the law against murder before Sinai. He also gave the norm of marriage, and laws regarding settlement and reproduction.

Second, the Law of Sinai, on its very terms, applies to the Hebrews there in the desert hearing it. That doesn't mean that PARTS of it don't apply to the whole world (and ALL of it gives insights into God's mind), but the parts that DO apply to the New and Eternal Covenant, through Jesus, are delineated by Jesus.

It isn't that ANY of the Law passed away, it is which laws are applicable to whom, and what the promise of each is that matters.

The Law of Sinai was the thing that the Hebrews had to do in order for God to fulfill the promise of the land of Canaan that he made to Abraham. They got their farm in Israel, forever, in peace and prosperity, PROVIDED THAT they obeyed all of the law. Otherwise, they would be punished, and if disobedient enough, driven out.

There is not one word in the Old Testament about following the Law to have eternal life. Nor did Jesus ever say that either. The NEW Covenant, through Jesus, was FOLLOW ME, be baptized and eat my flesh and blood, and keep MY commamdments, and you shall have eternal life in the city of God.

Jesus said flatly that there are degrees of rank in the City of God - greater and lesser. Those who follow Jesus are all saved from the flames at the final judgment, but they are not all just equal spirits roaming around the City of God after judgment. Some are greater, some are lesser, some have crowns of glory, and some are the very least. What you do in this life, how closely you follow Jesus or far you depart from him (within the boundaries of what will not get you absolutely damned) determines your rank in Heaven.

This should not be surprising, for there are ranks among the angelic beings, and ranks among the beings in the Revelation, and every time Jesus speaks of the Kingdom and people's place in it, he speaks of greater and lesser. If we may use an analogy to life: everybody who is admitted to Harvard is admitted to Harvard, but some will have great success there, while others will scrape by without any particularly distinction. There are greater and lesser in the Kingdom of God. Jesus does not simply speak in binary terms: Saved or not, but he speaks in terms of the degrees of favor one has with God, and the degrees of reward among the saved. Get saved, you don't get killed in the second death. That's good. But that doesn't mean you are going to wear a crown and be great in Heaven. Repentant adulterers and killers may be in heaven, but that doesn't mean they're sitting on the 12 thrones. Men aspire all their lives to higher social station among men. By Jesus' revelation, we know that we are also aspiring for a more permanent station in the afterlife, and the more obedient to Jesus we are on earth, the greater our rank in Heaven. That's actually what Jesus says, over and over again, but nobody hears it.

However, what Jesus NEVER says is that obedience to the whole Law of Moses is required for everlasting life in the City. In fact, Jesus says that it is NOT. All foods are clean, when it comes to judgment. But if you're a Jew listening to Jesus and you are charitable and kind and love your neighbor as yourself and love God above all, and eat bacon, your status in Heaven is high, but you are still abominable under the Law for the pork, and are not fit to live on your farm in Israel.

The one law does not nullify the other, but they apply to different spheres.

This is where so many people get confused. For some reason, people think that the Law of Moses, all of the stuff about pork and circumcision and all of that, are "Laws of God" necessary for salvation. Jesus never said any such thing. God DID say what those laws were, and why, and just precisely how they applied, but people seem to have a real reading comprehension problem when it comes to these laws.

So you like bacon. That's fine. The animals are under your dominion, and you are permitted to eat any animal. What kind of animal you eat, or don't, has no bearing whatever on your eternal life in God's City. No law said it would.

But there IS a law that says that if you are a lineal descendent of Abraham, and a circumcised male, you lose your birthright to a farm in Israel if you're a pork eater...that is, assuming that Israel has a Temple and is itself performing the rites demanded of it in the law.

Jesus doomed the Temple and pronounced the eviction of the Jews, and God destroyed the Temple completely and the priesthood, so the truth is that now, the Jews CANNOT get their secure farm in Israel, because God has made it impossible to fulfill all of the terms of the covenant.

The is still COMPLETELY in force, which MEANS that the Jews CANNOT GET BACK the land in security, on account of God having made it impossible for them to fulfill its terms. This is not an accident, it is to force the realization that a farm in Israel is not enough, that eyes must be lifted skyward to eternal life.

And as to eternal life, the Law of Moses is not the place to look - and never claimed to be. For that, you have to look to Jesus.

So eat your bacon with a clean conscience - it is not a sin for you. You are not a Jew living in covenantal Israel. You have no farm to lose, and bacon never did have anything to do with eternal life (though too much of it will shorten THIS life.)

Vicomte13  posted on  2015-09-23   16:03:56 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#24. To: Vicomte13 (#20)

Circumcision is a part of the Law. Following every jot and period of the Law is the salvation of the Jews, at least in their view. The Law was intended to show mankind that they could not follow every thing of the Law, I.e. They cannot save themselves. There is only one thing that brings salvation, and that is faith in the saving work of Christ, no human work, only the saving work of Christ.

Psalm 37

Don  posted on  2015-09-23   22:47:54 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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