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Why Are Christians Losing America?

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By Virgil - Posted on 10 October 2007

This article was published in condensed form in MovieGuide magazine and website (Sept. 2007). It was also a topical question discussed in several small groups of Christians in Indianapolis, IN, in the summer of 2007.1An Amplified Discussion Outline

with

John Noē, Ph.D. (© 2007)

Two suppositions are contained in this discussion question:

1) America is being lost.

2) Christians are responsible.

Or are we since . . .

  • “Four out of five Americans describe themselves as Christians?
  • 45% of us attend worship services on any given weekend?
  • The popularity of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ and Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose-Driven Life?
  • America appears to be bursting its seams with vibrant Christianity.”

And yet . . .

America’s popular culture, its laws, public education system, news media, entertainment industry, and other major institutions have become progressively un-Christian – even anti-Christian.”

On 4th of July we sang “God Bless America,” while much of America is doing everything it can to sabotage that.

The reason Christians are losing America is . . .

“Christians have been seduced . . . hoodwinked . . . sold a bill of goods . . . are operating under a misguided and simplistic interpretation of scripture . . . . Christianity – the deepest, most meaningful and awe-inspiring religion ever – has been dumbed down . . .”

Consequently . . .

  • “only 9% of Christians have a biblical worldview.”
  • “‘born-again’ Christian adults in the U.S. think and act virtually the same as non-believers . . . almost no difference.” (recent George Barna study cited)

Whistleblower’s answer to how we’ve been “dumbed down” and how “to turn America around – to take it back – ” is . . .

“Take back your churches . . . [as] the springboard to taking back the culture.” They call for laymen to lead a “new pulpit revolution . . . . Think about it. When was the last time you heard a sermon on:

· A great social issue of our time?

· The last time your church engaged in the political debate?

· How many churches are active in the cultural war?

· How many pastors are leading prayers for . . . our nation’s soul?”

“The churches remain the last, best hope Americans have for bringing about a rebirth of Western Judeo-Christian culture.”

Perhaps, Tony Evans has best captured this dilemma thusly:

“Let me put the problem to you in the form of a question. How can we have all these churches on all these street corners, filled with all these members, led by all these preachers, elders, and deacons . . . and yet still have all this mess in America? Something is wrong somewhere!”

“But when we turn the education of our children over to the state, and the state removes biblical ethics from its curriculum, what you get is the mess we have now.”

– Tony Evans, What a Way to Live! (Nashville, TN.: Word Publishing, 1997), 294, 76.

What do you think?

The Church in Nazi Germany
—Are We Repeating the Mistakes of the Past?—

The Christians in Germany learned only too late that the people of God in Christ cannot disengage from the culture in which they live. We cannot withdraw to the comfortable security of our beautiful sanctuaries and sit in our padded pews while the world all around us goes to hell. For to do so is a betrayal of the Lord whose name we bear and is a denial of the power and efficacy of his Word, the Word that He has given us to proclaim.

In Germany, as here in the United States, one of the most clever tools in the enemy’s arsenal used to silence and intimidate Christians, to drive them out of the public square was the lie of the separation of Church and State. . . .

So Hitler called together the most important preachers in the land . . . . to reassure them, and intimidate them, if he could, to silence their criticism so he could go on with his plans for the country . . . . He told them their state subsides would continue, their tax exemptions were secure, that the church had nothing to fear from a Nazi government.

And finally, one brash young preacher who was there . . . had had enough. He was going to tell the truth even if that truth was not popular. And he pushed his way to the front of the room until he stood eye to eye with the German dictator. And he said, “Herr Hitler, our concern is not for the Church. Jesus Christ will take care of his Church. Our concern is for the soul of our nation.” It was immediately evident that the brash young preacher spoke only for himself, as a chagrined silence fell over that room and his colleagues hustled him away from the front.

Hitler with a natural politician’s instinct saw that reaction and he understood exactly what it meant. And, he smiled as he said to himself almost reflectively, “The soul of Germany, you can leave that to me.” And they did. They kept their religion and their politics strictly separate from one another. And as the innocent were slaughtered and as the nation was led down the path to destruction, they looked the other way and they minded their own business. And their country was destroyed [in twelve short years].

I would submit to you today that we in America find ourselves in a frighteningly similar predicament. Once again, the innocent are being slaughtered in a 26-year holocaust [over 40 million boys and girls] that makes Hitler look like a humanitarian by comparison. Once again, a nation is being led down the path of destruction and, once again, by and large, God’s people are looking the other way.[1]

‘War on Christianity’

Bill O’Reilly – ‘Talking Points’

June 2, 2004 – When the anti-Christian campaign by the ACLU claimed Los Angeles County as another victim in forcing them to take a small cross off its seal, Fox News commentator, Bill O’Reilly, had this to say:

“The harsh truth is that many American Christians don’t care about what is happening . . . . Talking Points wants you to know that we are rapidly losing freedom in America. Judges are overruling the will of the people and fascist organizations like the ACLU are imposing their secular will. And, when was the last time you heard a priest, minister, or rabbi talk about this? For me, the answer is simple. . . . Never! And that’s a memo.”

What do you think?

3 Major ‘Dumbed-Down’ Areas

In this section we will discuss three major areas greatly dumbed-down (i.e., diluted, devalued, diminished) by many church leaders and which have dramatically and negatively conditioned Christians into inaction and against cultural involvement.

Agree/disagree? You may be able to think of more areas.

If you become upset with any of this, first, please ask yourself,

Is it possible that I am a victim of this dumbed-downedness?

#1 – Gospel Reductionism –

Question: “What is the gospel?” For the majority of evangelicals the answer is, “the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

But this is not the gospel Jesus came into Galilee proclaiming, nor that of his central teaching.

Fact is, Jesus did not come into Galilee preaching Jesus. Nor did He come preaching and teaching his death so that when we die we could go to Heaven, or offering a “get-out-of-Hell-free” card.

Jesus preached and taught the gospel of the kingdom (Mark 1:15).

· Dallas Willard terms this kingdom deficiency, "the great omission" in his most recent book by this title and the primary reason "why . . . today's church [is] so weak" in his book, The Divine Conspiracy (San Francisco, CA.: HarperSanFrancisco, 1997), 40f.

· Darrell Guder calls it "reductionism of the gospel" in his book, The Continuing Conversion of the Church (Grand Rapids, MI.: Eerdmans, 2000), xiiif.

· Robert Lynn laments that “the gospel we proclaim has been shrunk” in his article “Far as the curse is found” in Chuck Colson’s Breakpoint Worldview magazine, Oct. ’06, 14.

Rediscovering the whole gospel—a greater gospel.

“. . . not a sub-biblical gospel that simply rearranges my interior and prepares me for a life beyond this world. Rather, it’s . . . a gospel that is a new way of seeing the world and everything in it.”

– Rev. Robert Lynn, “Worldview Church,” Prison Fellowship, www.breakpoint.org., 6/24/07. 3, 4.

“The Gospel of Christ and His kingdom [is] the centerpiece of our every endeavor.”

– T.M. Moore, “Worldview Weapons,” BreakPoint Worldview

(Oct. 2006): 9.

“the gospel is not how to escape the world; the gospel is that the crucified and risen Jesus is the Lord of the world . . . . ‘If he’s not Lord of all, he’s not Lord at all’.”

– N.T. Wright, “Mere Mission,” Christianity Today (Jan. 2007):

41, 39.

“the cultivation of Christlikeness . . . and the transformation of culture . . . . personal holiness and social transformation.”

– Douglas C. Minson, “Religion & Society,” Prison Fellowship, www.breakpoint.org., 6/24/07, 2, 3.

“the gospel is about how the world will be saved from human sin and all that goes with it—human greed, human lust, human pride, human oppression, human hypocrisy and dishonesty, human violence and racism, human chauvinism, human injustice. . . . I believe the gospel of Jesus is that the Kingdom of God is at hand and is open to all . . . . The Kingdom of God integrates . . . personal and social, private and public, secret and visible, spiritual and political, historic and eternal, earth and beyond . . . . could our preoccupation with individual salvation from hell after death distract us from speaking prophetically about injustice in our world today?”

– Brian D. McLaren, The Last Word and the Word after That

(Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA.: 2005), 69, 111, 149. 84.

Objection: “But we preach Jesus and the Bible. That’s the same as

preaching the kingdom.”

Response: Jesus did not do it this way in hopes his followers would catch on to the kingdom message indirectly or via osmosis.

Jesus made careful and appealing use of words to entice His followers to desire the life of beauty they saw in Him . . . . to communicate the values . . . and the truths of the kingdom of God. He never simply assumed that people world ‘get it’ . . . . He knew He world have to use words to teach them well, and teach them well He did.”

– Mark Earley, “A Life of Beauty,” BreakPoint Worldview

(May 2007), 4, 5.

The better and more insightful translation of Matt. 6:33 is:

“But seek first his kingdom and his justice, and all

these things will be given to you as well.”

This closer translation introduces a different understanding of this often-quoted but little-followed verse. That is, every earthly endeavor should be considered kingdom activity—the obvious outworking of “thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10).

My working definition of the greater and whole biblical gospel is:

The establishment of the everlasting and final form of God’s kingdom on earth and his salvation . . .

(And in this order, because that is how Jesus both proclaimed and accomplished these two distinct but interrelated realities. The Apostle Paul, too—see

Acts 28:31; 19:8; 20:25)

. . . As well as. how we enter into each, receive its blessings, and become obedient to our responsibilities therein.

Problem is, most modern-day Christians are ignorant of or confused as to the timing, nature, and scope of the kingdom.

Moreover, how are we to seek something we don’t understand or really know what it is?

· We’re basically kingdom illiterate.

· Haven’t been raised in a kingdom-oriented tradition.

· Most Christian colleges and seminaries don’t teach it.

· They also lack an effective and sound theology of the kingdom.

· It is foreign territory and, therefore, frightening.

What do you think?

#2 – Fatalistic, False Views of the Future –

The current and dominant worldview in American evangelical-ism is that the world will, and is supposed to, get “worse and worse.”

Produces a “why fight, we’re on the next flight” mentality.

But how does this fatalistic view match up with Isaiah 9:6-7’s description of the future of the messianic kingdom? (It doesn’t.)

“This faulty religious teaching, says John Chalfant, is the only way to explain why so many well-meaning Christians are paralyzed into inaction.” (WB, 17):

“It comprises what is left today of the militant, power-filled, full-dimensional Christian faith of America’s Founders after decades of erosion, watering down and trivializing of God’s action mandates by America’s Abandonment Clergy.”

“Much of the clergy, along with their millions of victimized American Christians following their pastors’ lead, have retreated from the battlefront to the social, non-confrontational, non-controversial reservation [i.e., their church]. They say that Christians should confine their religious activities to politically non-controversial roles and keep their Bibles out of the political process. They also say that based on prophecy these are the ‘last days,’ and any efforts we make to restore righteousness to this nation will be in vain and need not even be undertaken.”

– John W. Chalfant, Abandonment Theology (Winter Park, FL.: America – A Call to Greatness, Inc., 1996, 1999), 5 and 117-118.

“For this type of ‘Christian,’ there’s no need to stand up to evil, because they’re ‘saved by grace, not works’ (despite repeated biblical admonitions that ‘faith without works is dead’). No need to obey God’s commands, because they’re already saved, so why bother? No need to try to help make it a better world, because they’re going to be ‘raptured’ soon and those who remain behind can sort out the mess. Is it any wonder the church–and America–are in such trouble?” (WB, 27)

Why the Moral Majority failed after only twenty years.

Moral Majority Founder, Jerry Falwell, summarized the failure and demise of this activist organization in this manner:

“I see things getting worse and worse and worse. All we’re doing—all we’ve ever been able to do—is to have the church put its thumb in the dike, but it’s inevitable that it’s going to come out. We are supposed to keep it plugged up as long as we can, be a restraining influence. We prevent spoilage . . . . But we’re kidding ourselves if we think there’s any program, any third party . . . or anything we can do to straighten things out right now . . . . these things that we have in the country are beyond repair.”

– From Cal Thomas, Ed Dobson, Blinded by Might (Grand Rapids, MI.: Zondervan, 1999), 276.

The problem of sounding “an uncertain sound”—“For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound [i.e., message], who shall prepare himself to the battle?” (1 Cor. 14:8). Perhaps, the Moral Majority did not have a sound or strong enough theological foundation that would support the level of activism to which it aspired?

What do you think?

#3 – Life in Heaven

What is eternal life in Heaven really going to be like?

Rarely, if ever, is the doctrine of eternal rewards, loss, and punishments for believers taught or preached. Therefore, “there are countless ‘Christians’ who believe they have a ticket to Heaven, and nothing else really matters.” (WB, 22)

So, why is this biblical teaching rarely if ever taught? Here’s a short, recent, and true story that might shed some light on this omission.

The senior pastor’s sermon that Sunday was on the topic or “Universal Judgment.” Confidently, however, he assured the large congregation that if they are believers in Jesus Christ, they have nothing to fear, nothing to worry about, concerning judgment, because Christ has taken care of it for us.

In a follow-up conversation, I asked this pastor if he was familiar with the doctrine of eternal rewards, loss, and even punishment for believers in Heaven. He said he wasn’t interested. I mentioned that there are twenty or so verses that speak of this and I’d be happy to send them to him. He responded that there are many more verses that speak of God’s grace and love and of setting people free. He would focus on these and not the others, thank you.

No doubt, this pastor is both a victim as well as a perpetrator of a dumbed-down version of Christianity.

These comments from Brian McLaren speak frankly and directly to this area of dumbed-downedness:

“What could be more serious than standing in front of your Creator—the Creator of the universe—and finding out that you had wasted your life, squandered your inheritance, caused others pain and sorrow, worked against the good plans and desires of God? What could be more serious than that? To have to face the real, eternal, unavoidable, absolute, naked truth about yourself, what you’ve done, what you’ve become? . . . . Nothing could be more serious than that . . . . We cannot select out comfortable passages and ignore those that make us uneasy.” – McLaren, The Last Word, 79, 80, 96.

Yet McLaren reminds his readers that he is “not denying salvation by grace . . . . I’m just advocating judgment by works,” and that “being judged isn’t the same as being condemned and that being saved means a lot more than not being judged.”

– Ibid., 138.

What do you think?

So Here We Are . . .

“The compartmentalization and trivialization of Christianity . . . has ushered in a generation of shallow, ineffectual, and invisible Christians . . . . America’s churches have been subverted” (WB, 29)

Consequently, thousands of American evangelical churches are culturally neutralized and comfortable and content with a dumbed-down version of genuine Christianity. Thus, they are committed to:

  • presenting a kingdom-deficient gospel
  • marketing mediocrity
  • laboring in lukewarmness
  • and being culturally impotent

In short, according to Jewish secularist Alan Wolfe, Christianity has been “tamed” and “culture has triumphed.” (In his book, The Transformation of American Religion (New York: Free Press, 2003), inside flap, 3.)

“As a result, Christian faith [has] become increasingly personalized, privatized, and marginalized” (McLaren, The Last Word, 169). Even worse, if possible, Christians are not only losing America but we are also losing our kids in droves. And many Christians and churches don’t even want to talk about it.

So who is responsible? We are! And we are not being properly and scripturally led. (A few exceptions do exist.) It seems, that once again, the traditions of men have nullified the Word of God in this area (Mark 7:13; Matt. 15:6).

Our Options: What Can We Do?

1) Nothing . . . business as usual?

2) Brow beat – moral exhortation?

3) More prayer – al a 2 Chron. 7:14?But it takes more than prayer to meet God’s requirements for national blessing here!

Big problems call for big solutions.

Only one practical and effective way out of this cultural, moral, and spiritual morass.

4) Transformational Imagination – an educational and missional process of enticing, following the model of Jesus’ central teaching and the heart of his earthly ministry.

5 STEPS FOR RESTORING . . .

the preaching, teaching, and practice of the kingdom-of-God worldview (in its fullness) to the Church and to the world.

Step #1Unlearning popular misconceptions.

Step #2Grounding the kingdom theologically—the timing, nature, and scope of its everlasting form.

Step #3Applying the kingdom to today’s world—i.e., the transformation of both self and society.

Step #4Confirming why it is so important for every believer to be active and fully involved in advancing God’s kingdom (seeking justice), here and now, on this earth.

Step #5Prioritizing this calling as the Church’s TOP, No. #1 agenda, because . . .

· It was for Jesus (Mark 1:15; Matt. 6:33)

· It’s why the Church and Christians are here on this earth

But what do you think?

“The eschatology of abandonment is being succeeded by

an engaging gospel of the kingdom.”

“We Christians cannot continue to avoid knowing what we already know: that something is rotten in the state of our religion.”

“True prophets (those who bring a new word from God to assist in the current process of emergence) are crucified; false prophets (those who promise shortcuts that will cause regression or stagnation) are made rich and famous.”

Brian D. McLaren, a Generous Orthodoxy

(Grand Rapids, MI.: Zondervan, 2004),

237, 268, 285.

For More on John Noē’s restoration and unification ministry, and his speaking, teaching, and writing topics, please visit:

www.prophecyrefi.org

click on:

New academic journal article

New theological breakthrough article

New book now available

Three theological papers for restoring the kingdom of God worldview

New big-screen Hollywood movie

“9.5 Theses for the Next Reformation”

Previous books

Information button articles

And more

To order copies of this booklet, contract:

John Noē, Ph.D.

Prophecy Reformation Institute

5236 East 72nd Street

Indianapolis, IN 46250

Ph. # 317-842-3411

jnoe@prophecyrefi.org

[1] An excerpted transcription from: Laurence White, For Such a Time as This, (Colorado Springs, CO.: Focus on the Family, BR292/22119, 1998, 1999), audio cassette, side 1.

chrisliv's picture

Well,

The short answer to the question, "Why Are Christians Losing America?" is that they don't learn from History and that they probably aren't Christians.

I was going to pass on commenting on this one, because it seemed like it was just a springboard for internal squables among statists. And it was, as some comment bear out: "I am with you. I would love to see the Laws of this country be based upon doing what God likes and not doing what God dislikes."

But I had some time and decided to engage some of this "We're losing America" and "Let's take it back" talk as just a repackaging of the old Crusader mentality.

After the Church was offered, and accepted, a position as a State Corporation in 312 AD, by Caesar Constantine, the Roman Catholic Church was born. And that organization was a horror to all of humanity. It quickly lost the cultural battle for the birthplace of Christianity and Asia Minor, causing a spiritual vacuum to give reason for being to a brand new religion, Islam, only a few hundred years later.

And so, that malignant of a Corrupt Church and a Hostile State produced a Pope, who beside ordering the murder of unrepentant "heretic" Christians, in 1099, decided to "take back" Jerusalem by called all good Catholics to take the so-called Holy Land from the infidels, assuring them that their sins would be completely forgiven.

Surprisingly, with only 13,000 Crusaders, against 60,000 Muslims, on Friday, July 15th, the Crusaders prevailed, and proceeded to massacre 100,000 men, women, children, and infants. And admidst the piles of heads, corpses, and blood, the Crusaders rejoiced, saying, "'This is the Day that the Lord hath made, let us rejoice and be glad in it,' for on this day the Lord revealed Himself to His people and blessed them."

Is that the Kingdom of our Lord?

And Protestants were no better. They and the Roman Catholics went to murdering each other for a 30 Year War, until Westphalia. Then when the statist Puritans arrived in North America, having escaped religious persecution, they went about persecuting Quakers, and are known to have murdered about a dozen of them.

Now, I know that Dr. Noe is not espousing keeping or getting "America" (excluding Canadian and Mexicans, presumably) back by slaying all those who do not confess Roman Catholicism or Protestantism. But he suggesting that "Christians" should dominate the State and effect Police Power in such a way as to coerce or imprison all those who resist new "Christianized" legislation and enforcement.

Is that the Kingdom of our Lord?

The Dispensationalists would say, "Yeah, that's what it's supposed to be, and what it will be in the Millennium, after the Second Coming."

Of course, Preterists know Dispensationalists are wrong about what and when Christ's Kingdom is.

But almost all Preterists are still falling for the Statist and Reconstructionist paradigms, which seek to serve their Idol or Golden Calf with more zeal.

"America" is a continent. Virgil made a good point about it being something that Christians never had to possess. Squabbling over State Power and draping it in imprecise language is for Statists, Corporate and Big Business Interests, and the Homosexual Lobby. Of course, if the state-incorporated churchgoers want to get in there and wrestle with them, I think they are being worse than foolish.

Christ warned the Seven Early Churches about how to keep their place in His Kingdom, so they didn't "lose" their place, for example:

"Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. Rev. 2:5

The Candlesticks are not kept in a State Assembly or in the District of Columbia.

Peace to you all,
C. Livingstone

Parker's picture

Silly CLIV. Doesn't he know about St. Paul's Letter to the Church at Rome in the first century? How could St. Paul have written an epistle to a Church of Rome that wasn't "born" until AD 312?

And, doesn't he know that the successors of St. Peter at Rome run directly from Peter down to Benedict XVI in unbroken succession in real history?

Don't stay ignorant, CLIV. Read real history some time.

chrisliv's picture

Wrong, again, Parker.

Don't you know that Paul hadn't even been to Rome yet, when he wrote his Epistile to the Romans. He wrote it because it had already been established, but not by him, and he wanted help it.

But even if Paul had established the Church of Rome, that doesn't make your case.

There is no Pope in the Body of Christ.

Peace to you all,
C. Livingstone

Parker's picture

There is a pope. The kingdom keyholder office of Isaiah 22:15-24 was given by Christ to St. Peter at Matthew 16:18-19.

Protestants defected from the bishopric entirely and have no bishops any more. Yet Jesus established a perpetual bishopric and appointed St. Peter the keyholder of the Kingdom of God. Benedict XVI is the 266th keyholder in direct succession to St. Peter. This is an historic fact.

Paige's picture

Keyholder???

Hmmm...what would one need a key for when the gates of the city are never shut (Rev.21:25; Is.60:11)?

Parker's picture

Paige, please carefully study the keyholder role in Isaiah 22:15-24. Israel's monarch had a prime minister. Jesus, as the monarch who restored the Kingdom, restored that kingdom office to Peter at Matt 16:18-19.

OPTATUS, BISHOP OF MILEVIS (AD 367)
"You cannot deny that you are aware that in the city of Rome the episcopal chair was given first to Peter; the chair in which Peter sat, the same who was head—that is why he is also called Cephas [‘Rock’]—of all the apostles; the one chair in which unity is maintained by all" (The Schism of the Donatists 2:2 [A.D. 367]).

THE LETTER OF CLEMENT TO JAMES (AD 221)
"Be it known to you, my lord, that Simon [Peter], who, for the sake of the true faith, and the most sure foundation of his doctrine, was set apart to be the foundation of the Church, and for this end was by Jesus himself, with his truthful mouth, named Peter" (Letter of Clement to James 2 [A.D. 221]).

EPHRAIM THE SYRIAN (AD 306-373)
"[Jesus said:] ‘Simon, my follower, I have made you the foundation of the holy Church. I betimes called you Peter, because you will support all its buildings. You are the inspector of those who will build on earth a Church for me. If they should wish to build what is false, you, the foundation, will condemn them. You are the head of the fountain from which my teaching flows; you are the chief of my disciples’" (Homilies 4:1 [A.D. 351]).

ST. AUGUSTINE, BISHOP OF HIPPO (AD 400)

"To be unwilling to give the primacy to the Roman Church either stems from the utmost impiety or from rash arrogance" (Augustine. De Util. Cred. c.17).

mazuur's picture

"To be unwilling to give the primacy to the Roman Church either stems from the utmost impiety or from rash arrogance"

Or the ability to read the Scriptures for oneself. Something the people in that jerkoff's day didn't have the ability to do. What a shame too. They could have done something about all the blasphemous doctrines they were lead astray into.

-Rich

-Rich

Parker's picture

St. Augustine:
"To be unwilling to give the primacy to the Roman Church either stems from the utmost impiety or from rash arrogance" -

Mazuur:
Or the ability to read the Scriptures for oneself. Something the people in that jerkoff's day didn't have the ability to do. What a shame too. They could have done something about all the blasphemous doctrines they were lead astray into.

Parker:
Shocking to see you set yourself up above the universal teachings of the early Christians. They understood the truth about St. Peter and Rome all over the empire. They taught this truth everywhere. It is you, my friend, that has doctrine that has no validity in the real history of the early Christians. That should shake you to your core to realize that the early Christians are on my side in this debate.

mazuur's picture

"Shocking to see you set yourself up above the universal teachings of the early Christians. "

You mean against those corrupt evil degenerates who alone had access to the Scriptures and made sure they taught the people what they wanted to so as to maintain their position of power, control, and wealth?

They are the ones who God finally freed the people from by raising up men of conscience like Luther and Zwingli.

-Rich

-Rich

Parker's picture

Parker:
"Shocking to see you set yourself up above the universal teachings of the early Christians. "

Rich:
You mean against those corrupt evil degenerates who alone had access to the Scriptures and made sure they taught the people what they wanted to so as to maintain their position of power, control, and wealth?

Parker:
I'm truly stunned by your lack of knowledge on this topic combined with your arrogance. It's time to pack up this conversation.

mazuur's picture

Sorry you can't handle the truth Parker.

-Rich

-Rich

chrisliv's picture

No, Parker,

As I outlined in my original comments, from Revelation, Christ addressed the Original Seven Churches and used the pronoun "his" to describe each of the apparently human Candlesticks:

"Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent." Rev. 2:5

Each message to the Seven Original Churches was individualized to them directly by Christ, recorded by John, and not via the agency of Peter or any Pope.

Parker, it's pretty silly of you to try to peddle a Pope to people at this website, because most here are pretty bright, know their Bible well enough, and have a good sense of ecclesiastical history.

Peace to you all,
C. Livingstone

Parker's picture

CLIV:
most here are pretty bright, know their Bible well enough, and have a good sense of ecclesiastical history.

Parker:
Here's the ecclesiastical history on this issue:

TERTULLIAN (AD 155-230)
"Was anything withheld from the knowledge of Peter, who is called ‘the rock on which the Church would be built’ [Matt. 16:18] with the power of ‘loosing and binding in heaven and on earth’ [Matt. 16:19]?" (Demurrer Against the Heretics 22 [A.D. 200]).

CYPRIAN, BISHOP OF CARTHAGE (AD 200-253)
"On him [Peter] he builds the Church...If he [any should] desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?" (Cyprian. The Unity of the Catholic Church 4; 1st edition [A.D. 251])

ORIGEN (AD 182-251)
"Look at [Peter], the great foundation of the Church, that most solid of rocks, upon whom Christ built the Church (Homilies on Exodus 5:4 [A.D. 248]).

COUNCIL OF CHALCEDON, FOURTH ECUMENICAL COUNCIL (AD 451)
"Wherefore the most holy and blessed Leo, archbishop of the great and elder Rome, through us, and through this present most holy synod, together with the thrice blessed and all-glorious Peter the apostle, who is the rock and foundation of the Catholic Church, and the foundation of the orthodox faith, has stripped [Dioscorus] of the episcopate" (Chalcedon. Acts of the Council, session 3 [A.D. 451])

mazuur's picture

"Doesn't he know about St. Paul's Letter to the Church at Rome in the first century? How could St. Paul have written an epistle to a Church of Rome"

Sure Paul wrote a letter to the Church at Rome, but that Church wasn't what you try to claim and/or make it out to be. Not to mention, notice Peter wasn't there, which is probably the reason Paul needed to write the letter. Peter was in Jerusalem, which, if there was to have been (which there wasn't/isn't) a "Mothership" for the Church, is where it would have been.

The Church at Rome was no different than the Church at Corinth, Ephesus, Galatia, Colossae, or Philippi.

"And, doesn't he know that the successors of St. Peter at Rome run directly from Peter down to Benedict XVI in unbroken succession in real history?"

Ba Ha Ha Ha Ha. What is really sad is you actually believe that crap.

-Rich

-Rich

Parker's picture

Mazuur:
Sure Paul wrote a letter to the Church at Rome

Parker:
Yes, that means my Church existed in the first century and was not "born in 312AD".

Mazuur:
What is really sad is you actually believe that crap [that Benedict XVI is the direct successor of Peter in unbroken succession]

Parker:
Read it and weep. History records that it is undeniably true. See: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12272b.htm

mazuur's picture

No, like I said the Church that was in Rome in the 1st century was/is not the Church you try to claim. The one you try to claim was create in AD 312. The one that exist then had no Pope (never has never been such a thing). The Church had the Apostles (plural) leading/teaching the Church then because they were the ones whom God revealed his mystery to.

They were there to teach and guide the Church through to maturity. This was accomplished in AD70 when Christ returned and brought His body to perfection. The function of the Apostles was completed (along with Pastor, Prophets, Evangelists, Teachers). Of course if one is going to try to claim that any of these offices still exist, then they all still exist, even prophets. It's also interesting that your Church doesn't try to claim multiple Apostles as there was then.

Eph 4:11-13
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;

I don't need to read http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12272b.htm. I can read the Bible, and it tells me you're a nut case, and a very deceived one at that. There is no office of Pope. Get over it.

-Rich

-Rich

Parker's picture

You're a funny one, Rich. That kind of willful ignorance is shocking when a Christian exhibits it. There has been a head bishop of the Church at Rome since it was founded. Today, that head bishop is Benedict XVI. The Church at Rome has never ceased since it was founded by the apostles.

And Jesus created the office of pope when he renamed Simon "Rock" and designated him the first keyholder of the Kingdom (Mt. 16:18-19).

mazuur's picture

Hog wash Parker. You grasp so such thin straws just to save face (pride is a dangerous thing).

The rock that Christ was referring to was the confession of Jesus as the Christ. That is what the Church was build upon then, that is what the Church is built upon today, and that is what it will always will be built upon; just as the Scriptures record throughout its entire volume (you might want to read them some day instead of all the works of men you like to quote from).

Christ is not going to build His Church on a person (Peter) Parker. He is building it on Himself, hence the body of Christ (not body of Peter). Talk about willful ignorance. You would make a great Mormon. You buy into such crap so easily. Give up your delusions dude. Your pride is not worth it.

-Rich

-Rich

Starlight's picture

Rich,

Here is some teaching directly from Christ proclaiming that Peter would not be the solitary leader after the “regeneration”. In fact he says that the 12 would all sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. If we remember in Acts chapter one it was important that Judas be replaced so that the full complement of the Apostles would be intact. There was no singling out of any apostles for sitting on one single throne.

Matt 19:27 Then Peter answered and said to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?”
28 So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, JUDGING the twelve tribes of Israel.

Acts 1: … after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. … He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. … 6 So when they met together, they asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?" 7 He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.
20"For," said Peter, "it is written in the book of Psalms, " 'May his place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in it,' and, " 'May another take his place of leadership.' 21Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,

Rev 21:9 … "Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb." … And he … showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, … On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. … 14The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and ON THEM WERE THE NAMES OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES OF THE LAMB.

These New Twelve Tribes are the New Heavens and Earth Creation, fulfilling the promise that all Israel would be saved. Of course now there were no longer two humanities but just the one.

Blessings

Norm

mazuur's picture

Norm,

Yeah I know. Basically the entire Bible is a direct teaching that debunks Catholic teachings. It is so pathetic (and a testimony to the dangers of man's willingness to accept anything to avoid having to admit he is wrong) the way Parker has obviously been brainwashed from birth. He's every bit as gone as a good little Mormon who from birth has been told "the truth" about Jesus and can't see past what his Church has brainwashed him into.

-Rich

-Rich

Parker's picture

Norm,

Catholic theology agrees with your point, except that Peter alone was the keyholder of the Kingdom (Mt 1:18-19/Isa 22:15-24). The Eleven apostles rule in conjunction with Peter, but Peter is the head of the Twelve and the sole keyholder. Such is the teaching of the early Christians, and I get tired of watching Rich and CLIV deny the historical teaching on this. It would be more honest of them to just admit that they reject the teaching of the early Church on the matter. It is dishonest for CLIV to keep trying to make up a new history that simply has no support in early church belief and practice. How can Christians like CLIV be so unethical while claiming to be Christ's followers? Even the ecumenical councils speak of Peter's successors at the Church of Rome and mention the primacy of that See. Chris keeps lying about the Church at Rome, and he does it to support his own personal agenda. It's a shame.

chrisliv's picture

Wrong again, Parker,

Since you can't refute my assertions, from the Bible, you accuse me of lying and dishonesty.

I don't accuse you of as much, even thought I think you are completely biased and brainwashed.

Paul didn't found the Church at Rome.

The Seven Original Churches of Revelation were probably all due to Paul's missionary efforts.

All the while, Peter was an Apostle with an inferiority complex that rode on the coattails of the Judaising Apostle James, back at Jerusalem.

Luke, in his Book of Acts, describes for us how Peter had to get knocked out in a vision by the Holy Spirit before he finally understood that he could enter the house of a Gentile that God was also communicating with. And that was 10 years after the Ascension.

James and Peter were confronted by Paul, since they were teaching, erroneously, that Christians had to become Jews, first:

"As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication." Acts 21:25

Even that was a compromise by Paul, as he also told Christians that an idol was actually nothing, and that the meat sold in the marketplace which was involved in pagan rituals could be purchased and eaten (because it was often the best cuts) in good conscience:

"Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake: For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof. If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake. 1Cor. 10:25-27

From the Bible, it was Paul (concerning the Gentiles), along with James (concerning the believing Jews) who led the early churches, not Peter:

"And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly. And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present." Acts 21:17 & 18

So, Parker, you're not crying about CLIV, you're crying about what the Bibles says and how it doesn't support Roman Catholicism.

Thanks for helping expose these things.

Peace to you all,
C. Livingstone

Parker's picture

The Church was built on apostles (Eph 2:20), which includes the Church at Rome, and St. Paul was instrumental in helping strengthen what the other apostles founded there--though he did not want to go to Rome generally because another apostle had already laid a foundation there (Rom 15:20/Eph 2:20). Irenaeus states:
"Since it would be very tedious, in such a volume as this, to reckon up the successions of all the Churches, we do put to confusion all those who, in whatever manner,...assemble in unauthorized meetings; [We do this, I say, ] by indicating that tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; as also [by pointing out] the faith preached to men, which comes down to our time by means of the successions of the bishops. For it is a matter of necessity that every Church should agree with this church, on account of its pre-eminent authority. (Against Heresies Book 3, 3, 2-3)

And, the Poem Against the Marcionites (AD 267) agrees:
"In this chair in which he himself had sat, Peter in mighty Rome commanded Linus, the first elected, to sit down. After him, Cletus too accepted the flock of the fold. As his successor, Anacletus was elected by lot. Clement follows him, well-known to apostolic men.

CLIV:
Peter was an Apostle with an inferiority complex that rode on the coattails of the Judaising Apostle James, back at Jerusalem.

Parker:
You must be kidding. Chrysostom says, "[Peter] was the chosen one of the Apostles, and the mouth of the disciples, and the leader of the choir. On this account, Paul also went up on a time to see him rather than the others...And if any one should say, How then did James receive the throne of Jerusalem? This I would answer, that He appointed this man (Peter) teacher not of that throne, but of the world." (Chrysostom. In Joan. Hom. lxxxviii. n. 1 tom. viii). The Greek Father elsewhere says: "God allowed [Peter] to fall, because he meant to make him ruler over the whole world, that, remembering his own fall, he might forgive those who would slip in the future." (Chrysostom. Hom. quod frequenter conveniendum sit 5, cf. Hom. 73 in Joan. 5)

plymouthrock's picture

Parker,

I think people on this site would take you more seriously if you supported your assertions with Scripture and not homilies and poems.

plymouthrock!

Parker's picture

Hi Plymouthrock.

My listing of the teachings of the early Christians was in response to CLIV's false assertion that early Church history supported his views about Peter and the origins of the Church at Rome. I proved that the early Christians held the Catholic understanding.

The history on these topics shows that the early Christians held the Catholic positions about Peter and the Church at Rome.

Starlight's picture

Chris,

Just as reference for some, Paul was the special Apostle to the Gentiles and was not one of the 12, and also the Jewish Christians were still under the Law until AD70’s removal of that entity. That is why Paul wasn’t compromising anything with the Gentiles. But the Jewish Christians were still all zealous for the Law Acts 21:20 and actually under obligation to it until that removal. They just had no business imposing its responsibilities upon the Gentiles who were grafted in (see Galatians). That’s also why James writings seem a little strange to some of us at times as he was directly involved with the Jewish Christians and comes across differently than Paul. That is what threw Luther in a tissy he hadn't figured that out.

Norm

chrisliv's picture

Thanks, Norm,

But it seem obvious to me, that, before Pentecost, in the Book of Acts, when the remaining Apostles were drawing lots to replace Judas with Matthias, as the 12th Apostle, that they were out in left field, trying to do God a favor or work, like Abraham tried to get God a son from Hagar.

That's probably why we hear nothing more about Matthias, beyond Acts 1, because he wasn't God's choice to replace Judas.

Saul/Paul was obviously God's surprising and miraculous choice.

I agree that James was the Apostle to the maladaptive Jewish Church, though.

Peace to you,
C. Livingstone

Starlight's picture

Chris,

Actually Parker has got this one right ;-)

The story line in Acts is about the restoration of Israel which it proceeds to verify.

I have been listening to a 50 week series on the book of Acts by Don Preston and he details from Chp 1 through the end how everything in Acts is a fulfillment of OT prophecy and the selection of the apostolic replacement was part of this fulfillment.

Paul’s selection though is revealed to Ananias “(Acts 9:15 NRSV) But the Lord said to him, "Go, FOR HE IS AN INSTRUMENT WHOM I HAVE CHOSEN TO BRING MY NAME BEFORE GENTILES and kings and before the people of Israel;”

Acts is much more than just a collection of stories; it is the detailed plan of how the fulfillment of Israel was to be completed by going to the Jew first (Jerusalem), the Samaritans (local region) and the rest of the world (Gentiles). Somehow the Ethiopian Eunuch proselyte fits in there somewhere as well with the restoration of Israel. The conversion of the Gentiles fulfils many prophesies and when we understand that the Jews were still under the Law, Acts begins to make better sense to us. That’s why when Paul went back to Jerusalem in Acts 21 he had no problem attending to the Temple requirements as he was still a Jew. This also makes sense of his classic statement in 1 Cor 9. and does not turn him into a hypocrite which some try to ascribe to him in Acts 21.

(1 Cor 9:19 NRSV) For though I am free with respect to all, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I BECAME AS ONE UNDER THE LAW (though I myself am not under the law) so that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law) so that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, so that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that I might by all means save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its blessings.

Paul’s mission to the Gentiles was his special calling to help foster the restoration of Israel.

Blessings

Norm

Parker's picture

Norm:
everything in Acts is a fulfillment of OT prophecy and the selection of the apostolic replacement was part of this fulfillment.

Parker:
Nice post, Norm. However, your affirmation creates a problem for CLIV, for he now has to admit that Peter was the leader of The Twelve. Peter is the only apostle whose life story is constantly singled out in the gospels. Peter is mentioned first in every listing of apostles (Judas is always listed last), and Peter is mentioned by name hundreds of times in the gospels (unlike the others).

Starlight's picture

Parker,

Sorry brother but the story of Acts does not lend support to your position. Chris got off base on this detail but that doesn't render his conclusion concerning Peter as wrong. Chris mistake was attempting to rationalize away the story of the selection because it didn't appear to make sense to him. We all tend to do this occasionaly and need to be careful. That's why its important to have a high value concerning scriptures. The sciptures will prove their point eventually if you know the context but sometimes we don't always recognize the big picture of how the story line works. Just remain patient and continue to study and it will eventually be revealed to you.
Again Parker I'm not in agreement with you concernign your thesis about Peter.

Blessings

Norm

Parker's picture

Norm:
Again Parker I'm not in agreement with you concernign your thesis about Peter.

Parker:
It's not a thesis. Jesus appointed Peter as the Keyholder of the Kingdom of God at Matthew 16:18-19, just as we see Shebna and later Eliakim appointed to that position at Isaiah 22:15-24. That authority is described at Isaiah 22:15-24, though Christ's kingdom is even more expansive than that of the O.T. monarchs. Peter's role as the Prince of the Apostles and Bishop of Rome was plainly taught and celebrated by the early Christians everywhere. The Protestants had to downplay and even deny this doctrine to justify their break away from the Catholic Church in the 1500s and 1600s. The protestants did this because they believed that they were in the endtimes, and they had foolishly made the RCC the "Whore of Babylon." Preterists know this was a grave error on their part.

Parker's picture

CLIV:
it seem obvious to me, that, before Pentecost, in the Book of Acts, when the remaining Apostles were drawing lots to replace Judas with Matthias, as the 12th Apostle, that they were out in left field, trying to do God a favor or work, like Abraham tried to get God a son from Hagar.

Parker:
Matthias was the legitmate apostle that replaced Judas, even as scripture had prescribed. We hear about Matthias the same way we hear about the rest of the apostles in the book of Acts--collectively:

Peter, taking his stand with the eleven [Matthias included] (Acts 2:14)

So the twelve [Matthias included] summoned the congregation (Acts 6:2)

signs were taking place through the apostles [Matthias included] (Acts 2:43)

with great power the apostles [Matthias included] were giving testimony (Acts 4:33)

Peter and the apostles [Matthias included] answered (Acts 5:29)

St. Paul was not one of the Twelve apostles.

chrisliv's picture

No, Parker,

Paul was either the 12th Apostle, or the 13th Apostle.

1Co 9:1 "Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?"

1Co 9:2 "If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord."

Peter was still stuck in an Old Covenant mindset of "casting lots" to find the will of God.

Peter was mistaken.

But, this is all far off from the original article topic.

Peace to you all,
C. Livingstone

Parker's picture

Paul was NOT the 12th apostle. The Holy Spirit, writing through Luke, counts Twelve after Judas' death and way before Paul's conversion:

Peter, taking his stand with the eleven [Matthias included] (Acts 2:14)

So the twelve [Matthias included] summoned the congregation (Acts 6:2)

chrisliv's picture

Sure,

Although he is nowhere named, except at Acts 1, Matthias was still running with the eleven at Acts 6.

Saul was still busy persecuting the Church and supervising the murder of Stephen at Acts 8.

And just because the writer of Acts tells us that Saul persecuted the Church, he expects his readers to be smart enough not to follow that example.

You see, the Book of Acts is not a book of doctrine. It is a book of raw data collection by a Greek physician who was recording the Acts of the Holy Spirit through Apostles and the rest of the Church. It captures Peter's mistakes about mixing the Old Covenant with the New, Jame's similar tendency, and Paul's rigidness in refusing to listen to the Holy Spirit about not going to Jerusalem and his period of unforgiveness toward John-Mark. It isn't until Paul's own writing to Titus that we see that Paul repented about John-Mark.

But by Acts 9 Saul/Paul was miraculously appointed by God as "a chosen vessel unto Me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel."

The Eleven appointed Matthias by drawing straws at Acts 1, and God appointed Paul at Acts 9.

There's a lesson there, Parker.

But, again, that's really off-topic from the original article.

Peace to you all,
C. Livingstone

Parker's picture

CLIV, you are completely wrong. Matthias was the Twelfth, and this is plainly reported in scripture.

This does not mean St. Paul and Barnabus weren't called. It means they weren't counted among The Twelve. And Peter was the head of the Twelve.

Starlight's picture

Parker,

I obviously do not agree with your position that you are stating but I respect you and enjoy our occasional discourses. I do not want to get into a personal confrontation but I do truly believe you have misunderstood these issues. In rebuttal to your contention that Peter was the Key holder I would again refer back to the verse in Matt I quoted. “When the SON OF MAN SITS ON THE THRONE OF HIS GLORY, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, JUDGING the twelve tribes of Israel.”

Parker, Christ alone sits on the throne of glory which I’m sure you agree with but he then clearly designates that the twelve would equally sit on thrones judging. He does not anywhere in scripture that I am aware of designate an earthly physical extension of this arrangement.

I do not hold historical writers and their opinions as sacred such as I do with scripture and cannot accept what I would consider from them as fallible understandings.

Blessings

Norm

PS. Parker you drive me crazy sometimes with your answers but I have grown to respect you because you have typically resisted the urge to retaliate. I would encourage you to remember your calling in Christ and continue to hold yourself above the fray. I’ll stand with you all day long in that regard.

Parker's picture

Norm, both scripture and early Church history agree that Peter was the keyholder of the entire Kingdom. Simply compare Isaiah 22:15-24 to Matt 16:18-19 to see it in scripture, and read the ECFs to see that this gospel truth was unquestioned among the early Christians.

Again, the apostles ruled in concert with Peter, though Peter was the prince of the apostles. As Chysostom writes, "[Peter] was the chosen one of the Apostles, and the mouth of the disciples, and the leader of the choir. On this account, Paul also went up on a time to see him rather than the others...And if any one should say, How then did James receive the throne of Jerusalem? This I would answer, that He appointed this man (Peter) teacher not of that throne, but of the world." (Chrysostom. In Joan. Hom. lxxxviii. n. 1 tom. viii)

It's one thing for protestants to reject the teachings of the early Christians, but it's another thing for them to lie about the teachings of the early Christians, as CLIV does repeatedly on these matters. It's very un-Christian to lie, and CLIV is lying about the beliefs of the early Christians concerning St. Peter and the Church of Rome. It's very disturbing.

Parker's picture

The "rock" was Simon, whom Jesus renamed "rock" (John 1:42), and such was understood by all Christianity until the protestants had to change this truth to justify their break away. Jesus built his church on the foundation of the apostles (Eph 2:20), chief of whom was Peter. Peter received the keyholder office of the Kingdom of God (Isaiah 22:15-24/Mt 16:18-19). Read what the early Chrisitans taught and believed:

TERTULLIAN (AD 155-230)
"Was anything withheld from the knowledge of Peter, who is called ‘the rock on which the Church would be built’ [Matt. 16:18] with the power of ‘loosing and binding in heaven and on earth’ [Matt. 16:19]?" (Demurrer Against the Heretics 22 [A.D. 200]).

CYPRIAN, BISHOP OF CARTHAGE (AD 200-253)
"There is one baptism, and one Holy Ghost, and one Church, founded by Christ our Lord upon Peter, for an original and principle of unity (Cyprian. Ep. lxx. ad. Januar. et Ep. Numid)

If [any should] desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?" (Cyprian. The Unity of the Catholic Church 4; 1st edition [A.D. 251])

COUNCIL OF EPHESUS, THIRD ECUMENICAL COUNCIL (AD 431)
"Philip, the presbyter and legate of the Apostolic See [Rome], said: ‘There is no doubt, and in fact it has been known in all ages, that the holy and most blessed Peter, prince and head of the apostles, pillar of the faith, and foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the human race, and that to him was given the power of loosing and binding sins: who down even to today and forever both lives and judges in his successors’" (Acts of the Council, session 3 [A.D. 431]).

mazuur's picture

No, the rock was the confession that Peter made. Period. You can deny it all you wish, but that doesn't change fact.

I also find is humorous you keep quoting Matthew 16:19, yet every one (except you brainwashed Catholics) who can read for themselves, see its clear message.

You can also take your quotes from men and put them where the sun don't shine. What they have to say carries about as much weight as Joseph Smith and his testimony concerning his twisted interpretation of the Bible. One more thing you have in common with Mormons. Pretty soon and I'm going to start taking bets you are a Mormon.

-Rich

-Rich

Parker's picture

Rich:
I also find is humorous you keep quoting Matthew 16:19, yet every one (except you brainwashed Catholics) who can read for themselves, see its clear message.

Parker:
"Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah...I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven." (Mt. 16:19)

Who is brainwashed? The translation clearly says that Jesus gave the keys of His Kingdom to Peter. Any Jew familiar with Isaiah 22:15-24 understood what authority that entailed.

Mick's picture

Chris,
I have learned a lot from you over the last few years. Help me understand your perspective. If I must live in a nation-state of some sort, since I don't have the ability to buy an island and live without some sort of governing authority besides the church. So what is wrong with "I am with you. I would love to see the Laws of this country be based upon doing what God likes and not doing what God dislikes."
Mickey

Mickey E. Denen

chrisliv's picture

Sure, Mick,

You've already been mentally conditioned to exclude yourself from living in Christ's fully-established Kingdom by telling yourself "If I must live in a nation-state of some sort".

You can leave at any time, without taking one step or sailing off to a deserted island. The gates of New Jerusalem are open to all who are ready to come out of the rule of Satan.

States are fictional. They become animated when enough people start believing in it and accepting their prescribed office, like: taxpayer, judge, inmate, legislator, etc.

One Oregon statutory definition even refers to the State as being everything just above the ground.

People live on land. North America was here long before the Several States were invented, and it will probably be here long after they are dissolved.

The problem with your statement is that it shows that you see a hostile, yet fine-sounding Mafia as authoritative and legitimate, and that you think it should force people (through more worldly legislation and enforcement) to be doing what God likes. So, to some degree, you have the mind of a slave, and are a danger to the liberty of those who don't have a similar mind.

Of course, at only 5% of the global population, the US political system (States, FED, and Jails) imprisons more of it's citizens than almost all other "countries" COMBINED. So, the American political system is either the most tyrannical on the planet or the American people are the most ungodly, or both.

But let's suppose that you get your wish: "I would love to see the Laws of this country be based upon doing what God likes and not doing what God dislikes," and that everyone not imprisoned by your wish is obeying the "Christianized" State (like Nazi Germany).

Is that the Kingdom of our Lord?

The Bible tells us that God is our Lawgiver, our Judge, our King, and that He will save us. We follow Him, without asking hostile State to force others to do so.

Shiloh has come; we Preterists should know that the Law and the New Covenant have already gone out from Zion nearly 2000 years ago.

Why do you seek a Golden Calf or a worldly king or a nation-state to save America. God warned about what would happen to those who sought as much, and we see that it is as true today as it was among the ancient Israelites:

"And all the people said unto Samuel, Pray for thy servants unto the LORD thy God, that we die not: for we have added unto all our sins this evil, to ask us a king." 1Sam. 12:19

I could go on about how the British colonies became American States by violence and revolution against the British State in America, which "dissolved the political bands" due to what were relatively minor complaints and taxes by today's standards.

Like those early American anarchists, I agree with one point, that all people (even colored people) have a right to "dissolve political bands", but not with violence.

You can live in God's Kingdom, where Jesus is Lord and the Sermon on the Mount is the Law, on Earth as it is in Heaven, right now. This is your Christian Heritage, not the 4th of July, which was founded by a bunch of slaveholders.

How offensive it must sound to God when churchgoers suggest that a hostile and man-ordained Constitution is "the supreme law of the land." Of course, that kind of sentiment is just typical "heathen rage" of unbelievers and the unenlightened. But for a true Christian suggest as much would be High Treason against the Lord of Heaven and Earth.

"And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, 'All power [or authority, or jurisdiction] is given unto me in Heaven and in Earth.'" Mat. 28:18

Don't you believe that?

Or, do you doubt that Christ said as much?

Peace to you,
C. Livingstone

Mick's picture

Chris:
The problem with your statement is that it shows that you see a hostile, yet fine-sounding Mafia as authoritative and legitimate, and that you think it should force people (through more worldly legislation and enforcement) to be doing what God likes. So, to some degree, you have the mind of a slave, and are a danger to the liberty of those who don't have a similar mind.
Mickey:
No not authoritative, as I make speak out against its policies at any time. God's word is authoritative, always correct.

Yes legitimate as Paul said Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed,(Ro 13:2 ESV). The context can only mean governments(ἄρχων: ruler, chief) There are no time statements in this context to lead one to conclude that this instruction would become invalid at AD70.

Not force, but invite to participate in the life that God wants us to live. Not a state mandated religion, but a state that enforces do not murder, do not commit adultery and other laws which protect individual rights and freedoms, much like the government of the Judges when God was their King and the Judges were to guide the people.

Chris:
Why do you seek a Golden Calf or a worldly king or a nation-state to save America. God warned about what would happen to those who sought as much, and we see that it is as true today as it was among the ancient Israelites.

Mickey:
I don't. The only salvation for anyone or any group of people is the acceptance of Jesus as Lord. God is my only King.

Chris:
The Bible tells us that God is our Lawgiver, our Judge, our King, and that He will save us. We follow Him, without asking hostile State to force others to do so.

I accept all that you say here, and no I do not ask the state to force others.

Chris:
Like those early American anarchists, I agree with one point, that all people (even colored people) have a right to "dissolve political bands", but not with violence.

I think you have taken that quote out of context. They desired to "dissolve political bands" from England, but they maintained local and even national governments should exist.

Chris:
You can live in God's Kingdom, where Jesus is Lord and the Sermon on the Mount is the Law, on Earth as it is in Heaven, right now. This is your Christian Heritage, not the 4th of July, which was founded by a bunch of slaveholders

Mickey:
I do not in anyway include the 4th of July as any part of my inheritance in the fully established Kingdom of God. Why should I not want the person that lives next door or in my city to have Jesus as Lord and the sermon on the Mount as their law as well?

BTW: An early letter from Ben Franklin to Thomas Jefferson indicates that his expectation was that slavery would die a natural death as the concept of freedom caught on. I don't want to belabor this point as it is not central to the topic at hand.

Chris:
How offensive it must sound to God when churchgoers suggest that a hostile and man-ordained Constitution is "the supreme law of the land." Of course, that kind of sentiment is just typical "heathen rage" of unbelievers and the unenlightened. But for a true Christian suggest as much would be High Treason against the Lord of Heaven and Earth.

Mickey
I agree. I would never argue that the US Constitution is the "supreme law of the land" The founders of the nation understood that any man-made document was flawed, thus allowing for modification through amendments. If 50% plus one people of 2/3rds of the States accepted Jesus as Lord and the Sermon on the Mount as the Law and modified the US Constitution to reflect that, what would be the harm in that?

Chris:
"And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, 'All power [or authority, or jurisdiction] is given unto me in Heaven and in Earth.'" Mat. 28:18
Don't you believe that?
Or, do you doubt that Christ said as much?

Mickey:
Chris please do not assault my character or my faith in the inspired words of Jesus. It is clear this is a "hot button" for you. My desire is to understand and grow. Does Jesus delegate any of this authority to Elders, or fathers/husbands or even civil leadership?

Mickey E. Denen

tom-g's picture

I don't know about anyone else who has been following these comments, but if I was made aware that there was a warrant out for Chris because he had broken one of the supreme laws of the land, I would ask to be deputized so that I could be the one to apprehend, arrest and incarcerate him.

I for one have taken an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States and I pledge allegiance to the flag at every public meeting I attend, which is at least twice a week. As did all of my five children did also every morning at school.

If it was up to me his privilege of access or use of any utility, roadway, service or benefit in the public domain would be revoked and wherever he was at that point in time is where he would return to the dust from which he was formed as those whom he scorned practiced the injunction that he who will not work shall not eat as well as not providing for his family would make him worse than an infidel.

Tom

chrisliv's picture

Gee, Tom,

Spoken like a true Statist.

And it sounds like you wish I were dead, as you typed, "and wherever he (that's me) was at that point in time is where he (that's me, too) would return to the dust from which he (that's me again) was formed".

I'm sure that was the same sentiment expressed by some of the statist who handed Christ and the Apostles over to be executed.

It's interesting how you allow your kids to be conditioned to mindless rehearse a pledge of "true faith and allegiance" to a hostile political fiction before they even know what one is.

Sadly, if your children ever do become Christians, I'm sure they'll probably receive some of the treatment that you wish for me.

You know, "the sins of the fathers" and "you reap what you sow".

That's in the Bible, Tom.

I any event, even if I might be hated or executed, I still prefer company with Christ and the Apostles, to Statist Idolators.

It's the paradox of persecution by the Body of the State which caused the Body of Christ to grow strong, until Caesar Constantine came begging for the Church to participate in the Roman State in 312 AD, because the Empire was falling apart, like your own Idol is, Tom. Sadly, the Clergy elite of 312 AD sold-out the Body of Christ for a mess of pottage, just like like churches of today have.

Peace to you all,
C. Livingstone

tom-g's picture

Gee Chris,

No, I do not wish you dead, incarcerated yes, dead no.

Since by your own actions and expressed intent you would choose not to voluntarily cooperate with all of your neighbors, they would be within their God given right to withhold access to their commonly owned assets and the services they provide.

This would result in you being land locked in the place you were at the time the privilege of access was revoked. Ultimately you would die as the result of your own personal decisions without access to food water or protection from the natural elements. In this instance the "State" would be the agent of God carrying out the injunction that He who will not work shall not eat.

It would then be the "State" that was accomplishing the "Golden Rule" to love their neighbor as themselves by requiring of you that which they require of themselves.

No matter where you turn, your personal greed based upon your personal love of money, will lead to the same Scripturally predicted result, physical death.

The only hope for you Chris is that you will eventually truly hear the Gospel and finally believe in the crucified risen Christ.

Peace to you,
Tom

chrisliv's picture

Tom,

You are apparently misplacing and projecting you own subconscious "personal greed" and "personal love of money".

It is very common for those with the mind of a slave to be jealous of those who would choose to go out free, because they fear they don't have the courage to do the same and know they will have to work harder for their master, since there will be fewer slaves.

You talk of "voluntary cooperation" while at the same time condemn all those to prison who don't want to join you Cult.

A Mafia or State that extorts money and engages in mass-murder of poor people overseas is in no way "accomplishing the Golden Rule".

Pay attention:

"And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that EXERCISE authority upon them are CALLED benefactors.

"But it shall not be so among you..." Luke 22:25 & 26

The State was never ordain by God, but it "exercises" it's authority by violence as a shakedown. And the State "calls" itself a Benefactor, but our Lord tells us that it is a fraudulent claim.

Again, if you children ever become Christians they may have to endure what you're sowing for them. Sadly.

Peace to you all,
C. Livingstone

tom-g's picture

Chris,

That is the second time the filth you have been spewing has been directed to include my children.I can understand your hatred of government probably stems from not being able any more to regularly on a monthly basis tap into the filthy lucre provided by what you define as government extortion and theft or to get your greedy hands on as much of that government theft in the retirement system for your own selfish use. You should have paid closer attention to the teachings of your spiritual father, he was a liar and a murderer from the beginning. It would seem the old adage is true, the seed doesn't fall far from the tree. I would think he is very proud of what a great disciple you have become.

Peace to you,
Tom

chrisliv's picture

Tom,

You're the one who first brought up and put you children on parade.

I have no idea of what you're talking about when you mention "regularly on a monthly basis tap into the filthy lucre" and "as much of that government theft in the retirement system for your own selfish use."

I have no " monthly gov't retirement". But I recently mentioned that, many years ago, I withdrew my "employee contributions", i.e., my own money, from a Police/Fire Public Employees Retirement System.

I pay for what I use, and more.

So, you are the one spreading falsehoods and projecting your own Shadow, which are undoubtedly suppressed truths about yourself.

It's very telling.

In one small paragraph you attribute to me: "filth", "spewing", "hatred", "tap into", "filthy lucre", "theft", "your greedy hands", "your own selfish use", " your spiritual father, he was a liar and a murderer from the beginning (i.e., The Devil)", "what a great disciple you have become (again, of The Devil)".

You seem to be jealous of me because I chose not to participate in your parasitic ego mass (the State, and its federal auxiliary, the United State), which I think is your Idol.

I don't worship the State like you seem to do, Tom.

I'm guessing that you're probably retired from the US Military, having lived most of you life in a communized existence in "free" Base Housing (with utilities paid), with pay increases when you marry (regardless of whether your wife works) and for each child born (up until recently), with food allowances and other benefits that caused you to almost never have to make any decisions, except to sign your reenlistment papers.

I get why some people do that, especially when a married couple has a couple of kids during the first enlistment of the one spouse.

So, since the dialogue has degenerated, as outlined above, I might not respond to any of your further posts within this thread, Tom.

Peace to you all,
C. Livingstone

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