Re: Catholic Questions Re: American Protestants are 99% against Catholics.
- I don't mean to cut in on Curt's post, but I'm going get in on this also.
To understand why the Gnostic worldview could not have been inspired by
God, you have to understand what they believed in. I don't know much about
Gnosticism, but I'll tell you what I do know. The following is from my
Concordia Self-Study Bible on early Gnosticism (prior 2nd century).
Their main teaching is that spirit is entirely good and body is entirely
evil. From this unbiblical dualism flowed five important errors:
1. Man's body, which is matter, is therefore evil. It is to be contrasted
with God, who is wholly spirit and therefore good.
2. Salvation is the escape from the body, achieved not through faith in
Christ but by special knowledge.
3. Christ's true humanity was denied in two ways:
1. Some said that Christ only seemed to have a body, a view called
2. Others said that the divine Christ joined the man Jesus at
baptism and left him before he died, a vie called
Cerinthianism. This view is the background for much of 1John. See 1John
4. Since the body was considered evil, it was to be treated harshly. This
ascetic form of Gnosticism is the background for part of
5. Paradoxically, this dualism also led to licentiousness. The reasoning
was that, since matter-and not the breaking of God's law (1John
3:4)-was considered evil, breaking his law was of no moral consequence.
1John 2:22,23 says "Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is
the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist-he denies the Father and the Son.
No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has
the Father also".
God would not use a 'religion' that denied his own Son. Jesus said anyone
who rejects him, rejects the one who sent him, and that the spirit is not in
such a man.
"The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.'" (Psalm 53:1).
----- Original Message -----
From: "mili_cat" <email@example.com>
Sent: Saturday, August 31, 2002 5:51 PM
Subject: Catholic Questions Re: American Protestants are 99% against
> here you are assuming that a document presenting a Gnostic worldview
> could not have been inspired by God. Why? You're basing this
> assumption on the content of the books you do consider inspired. But
> without this assumption of the canon of the Bible, what would make
> you choose one alternative viewpoint over the other? I agree with
> you that the Gospel of Thomas is not inspired, for this as well as
> several other reasons. However, some early Christians DID believe
> this document was inspired, and it was the Holy Spirit working
> through the bishops of the Church who recognized that it was NOT
> inspired, and then set forth a list of books which WERE inspired.
> God is the ultimate author of Scripture, but he wrote it through the
> means of members of His Church. He later used other members to
> declare which works He inspired, so that His followers could be sure
> of receiving His Word. Catholics don't diminish the power of God when
> we state that he has chosen to use humans as His instruments to
> spread His Word and effect the salvation of others (through the
> sacraments). He is quite powerful, indeed, to have worked through the
> bumbling, sinful, weak individuals in this world, and yet draw us all
> through the Church into Himself. Wow. Humans screw up so much, but
> God can take all the crap we do and make it work for Himself.
> This is really going beyond scripture, isn't it?
> I think one essential point is that when Paul describes the Church
> and Christians as the Body of Christ, we Catholics take that very
> seriously. It is a metaphor, but it is a TRUE metaphor. When a
> Christian spreads the Word, it is Christ doing so. When a Christian
> ministers to the needy it is Christ doing so. When a priest baptizes
> an individual, it is Christ doing so. And when all the Bishops of the
> Church together declare in a council that a work is inspired of God,
> that is Christ, not the bishops, speaking. We really believe that God
> is using human beings in this way.
> Sometimes Catholics arguing for the Faith seem to be saying "The
> Church, The Church, The Church," and you may wonder, "What about
> God?" We believe the Church is the Pillar and Ground of the Truth,
> and is the conduit that God has formed to share Himself with us. When
> a Catholic says, "The Church," she means, "God, through the Church."
> When we state that the Church determined the canon of Scripture, we
> mean, "God, through His bishops on earth, declared which works He had
> inspired." Sounds quite different, doesn't it?
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- For centuries the Pope ruled the Papal States, with the assistance of French mercenaries. This was not ended until the Lateran Treaty, which created the Vatican City-State was signed.
In a message dated Thu, 5 Sep 2002 4:41:26 PM Eastern Standard Time, mili_cat <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
>Now when, exactly, was the Pope the absolute monarch of most of
>Italy? I really don't think that situation ever existed. He may have
>wanted to be, but that's not the way Italians work. :)
>Italy's government has generally been a group of feuding city-states.
>It is only recently that it has been united into one country.
>--- In catholicquestions@y..., mbindnerdc@a... wrote:
>> Kissing the Pope's ring is part of Italian feudalism, not
>Christianity. It's an anachronism, and is actually kind of cute if
>looked at from that way. It carried more meaning when the Pope was
>the absolute monarch of most of Italy. Gladly that time is past (as
>it was a scandal to Christianity for the Pope to be the defacto heir
>> Michael Bindner
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