Burned at the stake for the Bible

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by Nick the Pilot, Nov 19, 2008.

  1. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    My experience is otherwise.

    If your referring to the post-Reformation churches, I would be inclined to agree, simply because they have chosen to reject that exoteric word and thereby its esoteric essence — Transubstantiation.

    The symbolism of the rending of the veil of the temple (Matthew 27:51, Mark 15:38 & Luke 23:45) says (read esoterically) otherwise. Hebrews explains it, and Paul refers to it.

    The point is that the symbolism declares the exoteric taken up into the esoteric. By the simplest human act, man can be deified — a glass of water to the thirsty, a crust to the starving, a coat to the homeless. A smile to the lonely.

    Whether one takes full part in the life that is offered remains the choice of the individual, but the lives of the saints and mystics testify to the fact that if one embraces Christ, one is empowered by that embrace.

    The Transubstantiation is not worked by man, but in the Holy Spirit. The Redemption of the world — its body as well as its soul — is accomplished in the Son. The Covenant is pronounced by the Father:
    "You shall make an altar of earth unto me (the Church), and you shall offer upon it your holocausts and peace offerings (the Liturgy) ... in every place where the memory of my name shall be: I will come to thee, and will bless thee." (Exodus 20:24, my inserts and emphasis.)

    Everyone who believes in the idea of God carries that memory in her or his heart and is blessed accordingly. Individually. But human nature is not fragmentary, and man is, according to his nature, a communal being.

    So as well as the individual blessing, there is a communal blessing, in which all are one, a community of faith. This is the prayer of the Last Supper. As the whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts, in that community (the archetypal Ark) all are carried across the sea, the least is lifted amongst the most. The last shall be first.

    That community must have its physical presence, its body, in the same way that a soul must have a body to be present in the world.

    Grace, the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, is given to the body which is the Church, the Spouse of Christ, for the good of all whom compose that body. This is the Mystery of the Church ... sadly the Mystery of the Body is not always evident in all its parts.

    Thomas
     
  2. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    The Sacrament is a Grace.

    I see the continuation of Christ's commission to the Apostles. I'm not sure what you're seeing?

    Thomas
     
  3. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    About your hypocrisy ... secrecy ... Oh no, we're avoiding that one, I see. Too close to home?

    Just as an aside, if one reads my prior explanation — ousia and hypostasis — one can see your rehash of what I said, without the metaphysical insight, and riddled with your own misconceptions. There's the problem with syncretism for you.

    Self declared spokesperson for everyone, now?

    Nice one, Nick ... absolutely awash with hypocrisy.

    Thomas
     
  4. Netti-Netti

    Netti-Netti Well-Known Member

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    Thomas,

    I said: What we see in the Catholic view is a human application/distribution of a Divine Gift. Your reply:
    The Church has sought to apply conditions for receiving Communion in four areas. To receive the sacrament, one is expected to be prepared along these lines:

    1) free from sin

    2) free from "ecclesiastical censure"

    3) fasted "from the previous midnight," and

    4) wholesome in appearance (groomed & modestly dressed)


    Of special interest in the second aspect. Do we have a description of the Apostles enacting Christ's commission by denying persons Holy Communion on account of "ecclesiastical censure"? On any grounds?
     
  5. Nick_A

    Nick_A Interfaith Forums

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    Thomas

    Thomas

    This really seems extremely egotistical. you wrote:

    I'm sorry but no one is a god for giving a person a glass of water or throwing a life preserver to a drowning person. As we are, we lack continuity. We are never the same. First we cure and then we kill. as part of a continuing process. Nothing too godly about that. Of course the Pharisee within our being likes to create the appearance of continuity, but since we are as we are, everything continues as it is regardless of appearance.

    True, but the Holy Spirit is not present during blind exoteric ritual where man is not sufficiently awake to receive it.. It is only egotism IMO that believes it to be the case
     
  6. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    I'm afraid you are the one who is incorrect. Anyone who acts in a way that is counter to self interest, becomes god like, as opposed to "like god".

    Jesus himself taught and demanded that we be like him, in this way.
     
  7. ~estrella~

    ~estrella~ Active Member

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    I'm afraid to split hairs. I agree with you about the teachings of Jesus but not about the "godlike".Why is someone selfless? Does one feel guilty deep inside and wants to correct that? or is it because he recognizes in the other the similar-ness to himself? Or else because he knows deep inside that serving the other serves society and so serves himself? Or...
    I think we always act with a countless quantity of motives behind, most of them we are unaware of.
    Only when we arrive at a point where we do not anymore want to serve neither other, nor ourselves, but vertically only want to serve the "Highest Good", that is, the Divine Will (or whatever you might call it), then it is not us who is acting, but the Divine Will in us, or, the Higher Self; only then you might call it "godlike".
    Jesus taught thus because it is the only way to get out of a vicious circle, first. One is unable only to *see* the other if we do not make one step towards him in order to serve him, with whatever motive.
     
  8. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Estrella,

    You said,

    "I agree with you about the teachings of Jesus but not about the "godlike"."

    --> You and I are on the same page on this one.

    "Only when we arrive at a point where we do not anymore want to serve neither other, nor ourselves, but vertically only want to serve the "Highest Good", that is, the Divine Will (or whatever you might call it), then it is not us who is acting, but the Divine Will in us, or, the Higher Self; only then you might call it "godlike"."

    --> You have beautifully described the concept of removing our personalities, and transmuting ourselves to a higher level of consciousness. Many people think Nirvana (a higher level of consciousness than Heaven -- I believe in both Heaven and Nirvana, and see no conflict between the two) will be a time of sitting around and doing nothing. It will not. It will be a time of great acitivity for us; doing nothing but goiing around and doing nice things for everyone else all day long.

    "Jesus taught thus because it is the only way to get out of a vicious circle, first."

    --> It is.

    "One is unable only to *see* the other if we do not make one step towards him in order to serve him, with whatever motive."

    --> I would only change one idea, that we need to move towards to 'serving' the Buddha-nature within us.
     
  9. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Hi Netti-Netti —

    I did post (I thought) a long response to this, but apparently I did not. I had hoped to reproduce it, but time keeps pushing, so I'm afraid this is something of a truncated response.

    The Eucharist is a gift above all other gifts, and as such it is central to the life of the Church, as Catholicism understands it. It is gift in the sense that it confers upon the recipient a dimension of grace that cannot be attained under 'self-power' as it were — so no man is the authority for that, or indeed any, Sacrament, rather it is the Church that confers them, through the grace of the Holy Spirit.

    The relation of the Church to Christ is much like the relationship of the Immaculata to her Son — the Church "But Mary kept all these words, pondering them in her heart" (Luke 2:19), and the relationship of the Church to Her children and the world is much the same again: "Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye" (John 2:5).

    All these point to having the right intention, a proper mindfulness of what it is we're doing, which is talking part in the Sacred Mysteries of our faith.

    But the rule should be applied in the spirit, not the letter. when I was a kid, I think the fast was six hours, which if you go to morning mass means from the night before. At my first communion, I nearly feinted. Now the rule is 'at least one hour' with exceptions for the old, those receiving medication, etc.

    In the Old Tridentine Mass, after communion there was a period of prayer and contemplation. This has gone from the Liturgy, so after communion is the dismissal. Some, myself included, see this as somewhat 'short', a bit rushed ... people might actually get more out of the Eucharist if they took the time to contemplate upon it, both before and after engaging in the Mystery.

    Well we won't find anything like that from the Apostolic era because it was the rule was the Eucharist was not to be discussed. Hence the almost-absence of it from Scripture.

    Do we find rules of ecclesiastic censure at all? Yes, Acts, in the Johannine epistles, in the Pauline epistles, and in the Petrine. How was it carried out? Exclusion from the community, and thereby the common rites. It was serious too — confession was a public matter, and penance could involve a period of years before the penitent could reapproach the church.

    The Catechumen underwent a long period of instruction prior to initiation, sometimes three years. Until then, the Catechumen could attend the Liturgy, but were required to leave before the presentation of the gifts and the right of consecration — so that is a form of passive censure?

    Paul said: "If any man love not our Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anathema" 1 Corinthians 16:22.

    The Johannine letters say roughly ther same thing.

    In Acts 5, we have the case of Ananias and Saphira, who tried to defraud the Church, were confronted by Peter, censured by him, and dropped down dead! So that's pretty definite then...

    +++

    Here's an interesting point:
    "Now when the apostles, who were in Jerusalem, had heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John. Who, when they were come, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost. For he was not as yet come upon any of them; but they were only baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands upon them, and they received the Holy Ghost."
    Acts 8:14-17

    This would suggest that the presence of an Apostle was required for a 'complete' baptism in the Holy Spirit, as in the above case baptism 'in the name of the Lord Jesus' was done by the deacon Philip — this also points to baptism according to a Trinitarian formula from at least 80AD (the rough date of Acts).

    Here we would seem to have an ecclesial rule then: An Apostle has to be present for the transmission of the Holy Spirit. Notice that in the case of the Roman Cornelius, the man is ordered to seek and find Peter, which he does, and in Peter's presence the Holy Spirit comes upon him and his family ... but in Peter's presence, not beforehand.

    When did this rule change, I don't know, but as soon as Paul's gentile mission got underway — after 36AD — the Apostles faced the fact that they could not get everywhere, and that they all faced martyrdom at some point ... James had already been killed, as had the deacon Stephen.

    So the rule was changed, to empower the presbyter with the authority of the Church to call upon the Holy Spirit in Her name.

    Now one could argue (this is a personal view, so it might be soundly shot down by a theologian!) that a rule that was 'bound in heaven' (cf Matthew 16:19) might be 'loosed in heaven' according to necessity. At one point, the function was an apostolic one, now it is a priestly one. At one point, the priesthood is an all-male institution ... what chance this rule might be 'unbound' and women ordained to the ministry?

    I don't know ... pure speculation. For reasons of symbolism, I am against the ordination of women, but I would like to see the position of women enhanced in the Church. Might not an abbess be the equivalent of an abbott, the equivalent of a bishop?

    I can see no reason therefore why a women in orders might not be invited to sit in the college of cardinals? If a woman can be a saint, or a mystic and even a Doctor of the Church, I do not see why, within the hierarchy, doors that do not involve principally and directly a priestly function, should remain closed by virtue of her gender.

    But if you tell anyone else that, I'll deny it :p

    Thomas
     
  10. Nick_A

    Nick_A Interfaith Forums

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    I agree with you and N I P. It is the motive more than the action that is godlike. Jesus was forever trying to get the Pharisess to see this. One of the disturbing revelations that a person can have during efforts to "know thyself," is to see how much we are governed by appearance and how much false pride and vaninty rule our lives.

    If a person gives for the sake of control, creating dependency, or for public aclaim, is this godlike? That isn't to say it may not be a good thing to do but only if it is godlike.
     
  11. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Hi Nick —

    Indeed not ... it's not what we do, but the reasons why we do it.

    This is what separates the Christian from the humanist ... the humanist does good towards a natural end, the Christian does good towards a supernatural end, which naturally incorporates the natural good.

    The egoist does it for his own good, and no-one else's.

    So what is done is not really an issue, it's why we do it.

    And Christianity teaches that to 'do' Christianity does not require an IQ in the 200s, nor the intellectual capacity of a polymath, nor the ascetic rigours of a Desert Father, nor the physical strength of a pentathlon athlete.

    Christianity is not a 'Way of the Elite' — nor are elites in any sense Christian at heart, for all their pomp and circumstance.

    It just requires that you want to do it, for God's sake, and that you give it your best shot. Even if you fail, don't matter ... if you heart's in the right place.

    St Thomas discusses this in the Summa, and uses the example of giving alms to the poor. If the rich man gives alms for his own aggrandisement, then ... whereas the widow (in Scripture) gives a little of what she can ill afford, and that will ensure her place with God.

    Thomas
     
  12. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    We're a long way off topic here folks.

    If we want to discuss on, I suggest we open a new thread.

    Thomas
     
  13. Nick_A

    Nick_A Interfaith Forums

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    Actually it is on topic because all church hypocrisy is excused as doing it for God's sake.

    Actually Christianity is about opening one to the experience of inner morality or what is natural for the soul before the acquired corruption of our personality. We begin killing people as soon as we start doing things for "God's sake." Everyone of course believes their heart is in the right place as they engage in this process of mutual destruction for "God's sake."
     
  14. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    What St Paul called the voice of conscience?

    As far as I know, I haven't killed anyone yet?

    Speak for yourself, OK, but please don't speak for me. Not everyone goes round killing people when they do things for God's sake, and it's those people I regard as guiding lights in my world.

    Of course they do ... you believe you're doing the right thing when you would see the Church destroyed. I believe that too much would be lost in such an act — it's a 'baby with the bathwater' scenario. I believe there is a better way.

    What I can't get a grip of Nick, is to be a Christian in your eye, what is required of 'the man in the street'?

    Or what would you replace the Church with, as a means of transmission of the message?

    Thomas
     
  15. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Nick A,

    You said,

    "Actually it is on topic because all church hypocrisy is excused as doing it for God's sake."

    --> Good for you.

    [​IMG]

    I only originally started this thread in order to discuss one form of church hypocrisy, that of forbidding people to read the Bible in English. Look at all the other forms of church hypocrisy that have crept into this thread!
     
  16. Nick_A

    Nick_A Interfaith Forums

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    Thomas, you know very well I am referring to "we" in the collective sense. It is what humanity does. People kill each other over conceptions of pleasing God. That is not to say that everyone including you does it but rather that humanity cyclically does it as is normal for the "Great Beast".


    The exoteric church could not be destroyed. It does serve a purpose as a type of policeman in society. It isn't a matter of destruction but returning to something genuine because it is needed. Unfortunately the church now is very shallow and doesn't have to be. When Simone Weil talked with this catholic in a letter to Father Perrin, it wasn't shallow

    This is the poem she refers to:





    This depth does not exist in the Catholic church I know or in Catholics I know. My concern is now for those that feel the truth of the Church but are turned off by what it has become. I cannot explain it in a post but Jacob Needleman explaines it well in his book: "Lost Christianity." Why does it need him to allow a person to experience the depth of Christianity. ​



    Turning Around Blog Archive Book Review: Lost Christianity
    The Church no longer reaches these people. Will it have the nerve and the sincerity to regain what has been lost for its own sake and for the sake of those that can profit from it. It needs the esoteric side to become more evident but I doubt its humility to admit it.
     
  17. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Hi Nick —

    OK ... but again ... we always have done for as far back as history goes, so we are improving, even if only in minute increments.

    In the last century people have killed far more over the conceptions of fulfilling a political ideal, so you can't blame God or religion for that, it's obvious the fault lies with people ... my point being that getting rid of religion will not stop the killing ... people will find other means of justification.

    The way to the esoteric is through the exoteric ... the exoteric is the veil of the esoteric ... and the way you're talking about, we call ressourcement theologie 'a return to the source' ... we're doing exactly that.

    That's a matter of opinion. I question your depth of knowledge of the Church. I don't think it's shallow at all ... the more I look, the deeper it gets.

    There you go ... only because you have the evidence via Weil. If you had not come across her, I doubt you would have come across that view of the Church. Nor was Weil infallibly equipped to comment on the whole Church ... her experience is necessarily subjective, with all the implications of that. To me it seems she 'suffered' her genius ... and she was wrong on certain aspects.

    You even quote:
    Weil always stood off from that possibility of experience, even though it was the one she desired.

    My point is, it seems you are drawn to Weil, better to be drawn to the source of that 'supernatural power' — something she never allowed herself to do.

    It also shows that the power of which she speaks works through the Church — regardless of the 'exoteric' vision of the Church — I would not put 1937 as our Golden Age. So she, on one occasion, saw one person. I wonder how many times that miracle is repeated, every day?

    There are some Catholics who can clearly see the 'shallowness' of Weil's approach to the Church. She tried to engage it intellectually ... doesn't work.

    OK. I'm sorry ... but that's your experience, it's not mine.

    Look for poetry: T.S. Eliot, or David Jones (can't think of more, mystical poetry is not my strong suit).

    Look for theologians like de Lubac, Congar, Danielou, von Balthasar, Charles Journet ...

    Look for mystic theologians like Matthias Scheeben or Emile Mersch...

    Look for mystics like St Pio, Adrienne von Speyr, Caryll Houselander, Ruth Burrows ...

    The post-Vatican II Church is a radically different institution. I believe it's mission would have been a lot more luminous and realised a lot sooner had not the liberalising element made a complete mess of it where they were allowed free rein (notably US and Holland).

    Christ did not reach everybody ... and large numbers deserted Him, so I do not believe the Church is failing if not everybody falls on their knees before Her. Rather, it's incumbent on people to reach out to the Church too ...

    Not if the liberals have their way.

    We've had the humility to admit all our mistakes ... it's just not enough for the world.

    I think the eye of the beholder has become more opaque, I happen to think the Church is more esoteric outwardly now, than she has ever been — the Liturgy post Vatican-II has lost much of its solemnity, but is far more inclusive of the congregation than ever before.

    I too think we're not doing enough ... I walked away from the Church at 16 and was nigh on 40 before I came back ... but then I'm in there, doing it, trying to put that right ... but I'm doing it by seeking the good, and trying to bring out the good, whereas I'm constantly faced with those who are only interested in the bad — or those like Nick the Pilot intent on inflicting as much damage as possible — you will excuse me if I show a certain lack of patience.

    As Wil would point out, we're always looking for someone else to blame to let ourselves off the hook.

    OK, you've got complaints — but that is not the universal experience, that is yours to deal with. I and many others see it differently, but then those others, like me, are in it, not outside, bitching ... we do our bitching inside, to those who can actually make changes ... we make our voices known where they might do some good, not where it serves not good purpose at all.

    To say the Church is a purely exoteric organisation is nonsense, but you won't see the esoteric unless you're in it ... that's the way it works.

    You talk of the metaphysical poets, but look what religion was doing in the 17th century ... there will always be sin in the members, Nick, because we're human, but to assume that's all there is, is to look superfically.

    Look at any era of the Church, and look at the great theologians and mystics of that era ... was the Church then in her golden age? I don't think so ... so why assume there should be any difference now?

    That somehow the church has 'changed' I think is the error of modernity ... She remains the same (that's the main complaint we suffer, we don't change) ... but the world changes, and the world moves further away ... and becomes more egocentric, and more and more demands the Church comes to man on his own terms.

    Ain't gonna happen, Nick, Jesus didn't, and nor will His Church. It's on His terms, or nothing, and if the alternative is crucifixion, then we'll be crucified for what we believe, He was, after all.

    In short Nick, and others, for your own soul's sake ... if the Church is not for you, walk away, find something that is, and go for it ... but don't do nothing, and then hold us responsible for nothing happening.

    Thomas
     
  18. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Hi Nick_A, you said:
    Well as we've declared our faults, we can hardly be accused of excusing ourselves, can we? Nor do we seek to be excused — we offer admission, profess contrition, and ask forgiveness.

    So to be technically correct, the topic is history because we have apologised for this many years ago ... if there are those who refuse to forgive, or who want to live in the past, and won't or don't want to let go, then that is their burden really ... as someone said, shall we dig up every sad aspect of our past and relish our own errors ... or shall we recognise our faults, and move on?

    Oooh, more mischief from the cheeky little shaver!

    Back to the naughty step for you.

    Thomas
    (When you feel ready to come out, perhaps you'd like to tackle the issue of your own bad manners and hypocrisy, hmmmm?)
     
  19. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Hey, Thomas, are you talking to me again? You were so absorbed in repeatedly calling me a hypocrite, I thought you had stopped talking to me. (Well, I see you are still calling me a hypocrite, but I'll just keep bringing this discussion back to issues you continually refuse to address.)

    1. Did God allow a heretic to become Pope? (That seems to be what you are saying.)

    2. Why is it that Genesis 2:5 does not make any sense at all?

    "...and there was no man to till the ground."

    Bible.com

    3. Is it true that the church refused to let people read the Bible in English?
     
  20. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    4. Why does a group of gods say they created man in Genesis 1:26,

    "Let us make man..."

    ...yet a single God says He created humanity in the very next sentence, in Genesis 1:27?

    "So God created man in his [singular] own image...."

    --> In your previous response to this question, you said the sudden changing from plural to singular, etc., was just "a figure of speech." If God is so perfect, why did He allow such a confusing "figure of speech" to be used? Don't you claim the Bible is perfect?

    5. You claim I am hypocritical. I have said nothing hypocritical. The ball is now in your court regarding issue #5.

    6. Why did a Pope, who allegedly had infallibility available to him, sit back and let people be burned at the stake for their religious beliefs? He could have stopped the burnings with the simple writing of one letter?
     

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