So, religions make stuff up and change their beliefs to suit the times they operate in. What pragmatic, flexible corporations, these religions are. One wonders just what else they might have made up......
Well, the RCC has invented itself out of whole cloth. I wouldn't use them as the example for what all "religions" do. What ELSE the RCC has made up includes the claim that the apostle Peter was the first Pope in Rome and all Popes since him acquire his authority in "apostolic succession." There is absolutely no evidence Peter was ever in Rome, and quite a bit of evidence from scripture that he wasn't there when Paul wrote letters to Rome not mentioning him; but they claim he reigned there as Pope for 27 years.
They also made up various forgeries designed to bestow worldly power on the institution, such as the Donation of Constantine which purported to be a document written by Emperor Constantine granting the powers and privileges of the Roman Emperor to the RC Church, or something like that. It's been recognized as a forgery even by Catholic historians so I'm not making this up. Another forgery was called the Decretals of Isidore but I only remember the title and not what it was supposed to accomplish.
They also invented a whole pantheon of "saints" by simply transferring the names of various Roman gods to nonexistent "Christians."
They invented the concept of Purgatory. It doesn't exist in scripture. And Limbo, which has since been dropped.
They invented the idea that you could pay someone's way out of Purgatory by buying "Indulgences." That's what got Luther riled up initially. He expected the pope in his day to see the falseness of such an idea but instead was shocked when the Pope found the fault in him instead. The money from the indulgences financed the building of the basilica in Rome.
They invented the idea that Mary the mother of Jesus was a perpetual virgin, when scripture says she had other children besides Jesus. They also elevated her to a status equal with Jesus in the power of salvation whereas scripture keeps her in the background while nevertheless acknowledging her blessed status in being the mother of the Messiah.
Most of the trappings of the RCC, the clothing, the headgear, the rituals (processions) were directly inherited from the Roman Caesars. The title Pontifex Maximus, which gives the Pope the title "Pontiff" has nothing whatever to do with Christianity, but it was a title the Caesars possessed in their role at the head of Roman pagan religion.
This is just the first few things I think of off the top of my head. The RCC is an amazing creation that has absolutely nothing to do with Christianity although they've managed to sell themselves as its representative.
ABE: A few more: The enforced celibacy of priests is not in scripture or the early church either. In fact if you're going to say Peter was the first Pope you have to ignore the fact that scripture clearly says he was married.
Other inventions, or really practices taken from pagan Rome and incorporated into the RCC, include the use of incense, the use of candles, the use of the rosary. All these are pagan practices.
He's also declared that atheists can be saved without changing their beliefs.
There's also reason to believe he may come out in favor of gay marriage when this Family Conference comes up soon. At least there should be signs he's pushing for it even if it won't pass right away.
All this of course is based on Papal Infallibility which was made church law in 1870.
The only other "church" I know of that regularly changes its doctrines to suit the times is Mormonism. They changed their pro-polygamy laws because they were causing them too much trouble, and they took back their racist views of blacks.
Bible-based Protestant Christianity is at least consistent in sticking to what the Bible says. There may be disagreements about what it says on minor points but there isn't any of this making things up and changing doctrines to suit the times.
Not so much, Faith. Women wore hats and couldn't wear pants to church when I was a kid - a long time ago, but not that long.
That's a good point. All the churches stopped requiring women to wear hats -- I wasn't aware of the rule about pants -- around the 60s. You see pictures of women in hats in church in the 50s but not afterward. And that was a change in denial of the Bible which says woman are to cover our heads in church. I have a whole blog on that subject. The attempts to reinterpret that scripture are indefensible it seems to me. Interesting though that black women still wear hats to church.
I suppose pants were considered men's garb and scripture does forbid dressing like the opposite sex but I wasn't aware there was an issue about it. There's nothing essentially masculine about pants any more. Since I became a believer, though, there is definitely a more casual way of dressing than there used to be.
Is an abandoned doctrine really any kind of indictment? Is everything somebody believed some kind of inviolate truth?
The RCC claims infallibility so yes to abandon an infallible doctrine is some kind of indictment.
Bible believing Protestants say the Bible is inerrant, so yes it is some kind of indictment if they abandon a Biblical tenet. However, racism is not a Biblical tenet and neither are witch hunts, which as I understand it occurred ONCE only and was immediately recognized as wrong.
Those are executions of individuals, mostly at long intervals apart, by states, not by a church, although of course Massachusetts and Connecticut were strong Puritan colonies The Salem witch trials, which is of course what I had in mind, were the work of the church as I understood it. And that WAS a "witchhunt," which individual prosecutions for witchcraft were not. Nothing is said about the justice of the charges or the execution of them either. But the Salem witch trials were denounced by church leaders as the product of hysteria.
It's possible I never read your original claims, I don't know. When ten people pile on and the arguments are generally bad, as they are in this thread, and I'm then given a glaring white page to analyze which is hard on my eyes, I may very well not. Your argument that we should appreciate a church's changes of opinion to whatever the current fashion of political correctness prefers is not an argument I can respect since I am a Bible inerrantist, and I do tend to ignore a lot of what you say.
Slavery is at least IN the Bible, Limbo is not so the comparison is wholly bogus. But even in the NT we have Paul suggesting that a alaveowner free his slave, and we have NO suggestions that slavery is a good thing though it was clearly practiced widely in the Roman empire and the whole pagan world for that matter.
Do not want to argue any of this with you. Please return to ignoring me.
ABE: Oh, and of course any church can make errors as the slavery-defending churches did, but those errors never came to characterize an entire Church system as the RCC errors did, backed up by Papal Infallibility yet and continued for century upon century, until a modern Pope or Vatican II decided it would be best to, say, take away the prohibition on meat on Fridays, or include atheists under the RCC umbrella since of course the more members the better and so on and so forth.
Personally I'm rather disappointed, the more out of touch with everyday realities the religions become the faster they disappear.
Has this ever happened? Can you name even one religion that has actually disappeared because it is out of touch with current opinion?
The RCC boasts 1.2 billion members. Google says Islam has 1.57 billion. Although the RCC seems to be losing members in the West I'm not sure it makes any kind of difference in the end. Philadelphia is expecting a million or more to show up for the Pope's visit this month.
But, it's an indictment of religions that their 'truths' are abandonned when they become inconvenient. It's very clear that the Catholic church simply made up all sorts of nonsense, probably as a means of control over their customers. Why should anyone believe anything they say?
Probably because they don't really really believe any of it any more so they only care if the Pope says what they want to hear. This Pope is very leftist so EvCers ought to love him quite apart from any religious consistency in his views, or even because there isn't any. He's expected to speak on the importance of environmental issues, global warming etc. You all should love him. He'll want to tax the First World nations into poverty in the process but hey, that's just redistribution of wealth, a good thing of course. And if you aren't aware of it he is considered by canon law to be the rightful ruler of the entire world so he CAN tell us what to do.
He's also applauded the lesbian author of a children's book about alternative family arrangements, so you should like him for that too. He MAY say something more directly in favor of gay marriage. Wait and see.
All the lies of the RCC don't really matter to today's predominant mindset. You've got to believe in something yourself for them to matter.
Here we go again. Jesus Christ FULFILLED the Old Testament laws of Israel. Israel was a nation, Christians are not a nation, we are scattered among nations. We do not put adulterers to death for both these reasons. TRY to get it. Good grief this gets tedious.
There are hundreds of dead gods and belief systems. Religions come and go.
Religions don't really just "come and go." We can of course point to Europe where the original pagan religions were supplanted by Christianity over the centuries, and that's the case wherever Christianity has had much impact, but as a matter of course, no, religions do not "come and go." They are territorial. Sometimes the religion of a conquering nation would supplant that of the conquered, but more often all the religions would coexist.
Your brand of fundamentalism is totally out of touch with reality and has been dying since the enlightenment.
My brand of fundamentalism is essentially the religion the Protestant Reformers rescued from Romanism as the original religion of Christ and the apostles, which is completely based on the Bible.
And even if the numbers have dwindled the true believers are genuinely true believers. Those who have left were never that committed. Also, while the numbers have dwindled in the west they have been growing in China and other parts of the world.
Here in the UK church attendance has plumeted. Christianity in Europe is mostly now cultural with individuals picking the bits they like or abandoning it altogether.
Yes, I feel sorry for the UK and Europe. Especially the UK which has a long list of powerful Christian preachers in your history. All given over to the desert of man-made philosophy. A vacuum which Islam is filling too. You might actually like that less than your Christian roots.
He didn't "liquidate" anything. He fulfilled it all, including the Ten Commandments. If he hadn't we couldn't be saved because none of us has obeyed them completely.
So you think the Biblical admonitions to kill your bad kids, to beat your slaves just right, etc., were instructions to the nation of Israel, not individuals?
How does eye for eye cause deaths?
Where are people described as abominations?
Just take my word for it that when I say we are Bible believers that doesn't mean I am required to stone someone to death for adultery. You don't have to understand it, just trust that I know what I'm talking about based on years of Christian teaching.
All the OT laws are included with the prescribed punishments. It's a whole legal system, so although individuals are charged with keeping the laws they are subjected to the punishments of the whole community for not keeping them. So it is the entire community, not the parents, that punishes the unruly offspring. The parents are to report him to the elders and the community punishes him. And again we are not talking about a small child but about a young adult.
Eye for eye is eye for eye not killing people. It's a formula for making the punishment fit the crime. And how this makes anyone a lover of vengeance is beyond me. Good grief you guys work overtime trying to find fault where there is no fault. Christ's loving mercy doesn't save convicted criminals from punishment. The thief on the cross admitted his guilt and was saved because he recognized Christ as savior, but he still had to take the punishment for his crime.
Original Sin is a PROTESTANT belief, though no doubt quite different from the Catholic version. Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating of the forbidden tree. That disobedience was the original sin, and its consequence was the fallen nature of humanity which was inherited from them by all of us. God said they would die. That's a principle repeated in scripture, as "the wages of sin is death." It started with the death of the spirit which had been in constant communion with God until their sin, and it progressed and still progresses throughout the human race in every kind of disease and deformity to ultimate death of the body. We are saved from this sin and its consequences by belief in the death of Christ in our place.