What the “nones” believe

Lutheran sociologist Peter Berger discusses the phenomena of the “nones,” the growing demographic–currently 19% of the American population– that is unaffiliated with any religion.  Some say this group represents the secular elite, a wave of atheism, the sexually-liberated young people reacting against the sexual restrictions of religion.  But, says Berger, the evidence suggests otherwise:

The “nones” are most strongly represented among people with an income under $30,000, with high school graduation or less, who are married but (interestingly) without children. I am enough of a sociologist to think that class comes in somewhere in this matter, but it is unlikely to be a major factor.

I find most intriguing the Pew data on the religious beliefs and behavior of the “nones”. Let us stipulate that the “nones”, especially if they are young, are repelled by the neo-Puritanism of religious conservatives. But does this mean that they have decided (in the words of the authors) “to opt out of religion altogether”? I am strongly inclined to say no. Back to Pew data: 60% of “nones” say that they believe in God, as against 22% who say not. 41% say that religion is important in their lives, a minority as against the 57% who say that religion is not important—but a minority large enough to contradict the assertion that the “nones” have turned against religion altogether. What they have clearly turned away from is participation in institutional worship: 72% say that they seldom or never attend church services.

Let me, with all due respect for Campbell and Putnam [authors of a book on the subject that Berger is reviewing], suggest a hypothesis of my own: Most “nones” have not opted out of religion as such, but have opted out of affiliation with organized religion. Among Christians (the great majority of all survey respondents) there are different reasons for this disaffection. The two authors are very probably correct that, broadly speaking, those who are turned off by Evangelicals and conservative Catholics do so because they don’t like the repressive sexual morality of those churches (the sexual abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic Church has not helped). But the “nones” have also exited from mainline Protestantism, which has been much more accommodating to the liberationist ethic. Here, I think, there has been frustration with what my friend and colleague Thomas Luckmann long ago called “secularization from within”—the stripping away of the transcendent dimensions of the Gospel, and its reduction to conventional good deeds, popular psychotherapy and (mostly left-of-center) political agendas. Put differently: My hypothesis implies that some “nones” are put off by churches that preach a repressive morality, some others by churches whose message is mainly secular.

What then do these people believe? There is very likely a number (in America a relatively small one) of “nones” who are really without religion—agnostics or (even fewer) outright atheists. The latter have been encouraged by the advocates of the so-called “new atheism”—which is not new at all, but rather a reiteration of a tired 19th-century rationalism, pushed by a handful of writers who have been misrepresented as an important cultural movement. Presumably it is committed atheists who spark litigation over allegations that, for instance, a Christmas tree in a public park is a violation of the constitution. The bulk of the “nones” probably consist of a mix of two categories of unaffiliated believers—in the words of the British sociologist Grace Davie, people who “believe without belonging”. There are those who have put together an idiosyncratic personal creed, putting together bits and pieces of their own tradition with other components. Robert Wuthnow, the most productive and insightful sociologist of American religion, has called this “patchwork religion”. This includes the kind of people who will say “I am Catholic, but…”, followed by a list of items where they differ from the teachings of the church. The other category are the children—by now, grandchildren—of the counter-culture. They will most often say, “I am spiritual, not religious”. The “spirituality” is typically an expression of what Colin Campbell, another British sociologist, has called “Easternization”—an invasion of Western civilization by beliefs and practices from Asia. A few of these are organized, for instance by the various Buddhist schools. But most are diffused in an informal manner—such as belief in reincarnation or the spiritual continuity between humans and nature, and practices like yoga or martial arts.

via The Religiously Unaffiliated in America | Religion and Other Curiosities.

So 60% of those who belong to no religion believe in God, and 41% say religion is important to them, even though they don’t have one.  I agree with Berger that the privatization of religion–the anti-institutionalism that rejects churches and “organized religion” and the impulse to devise one’s own personal theology–accounts for much of this.

That’s a useful term:  “secularization from within.”  That is, the way churches have embraced secular values, thus rendering themselves superfluous.

What other observations can you make about the “nones”?

Are any of you readers “nones,” and if so does any of this ring true?

HT:  Matthew Cantirino

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Michael B.

    “What other observations can you make about the “nones”?”

    There’s a big difference between the spiritual-but-not-religious, emergent types and the new atheists. For one, atheists tends to see every religion as false, whereas Emergents tend to see every religion as true. The New Atheists have a very clearly defined worldview, unlike the Emergent crowd, whose worldview is like trying to nail jelly to a wall.

  • Michael B.

    “What other observations can you make about the “nones”?”

    There’s a big difference between the spiritual-but-not-religious, emergent types and the new atheists. For one, atheists tends to see every religion as false, whereas Emergents tend to see every religion as true. The New Atheists have a very clearly defined worldview, unlike the Emergent crowd, whose worldview is like trying to nail jelly to a wall.

  • Gary

    Michael, I say your observation is spot on.

  • Gary

    Michael, I say your observation is spot on.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    These poor folks are out there. Let’s pray that the Lord will send some of them into our path and we might have a chance to share Christ with them in some way.

    Maybe by His grace they will become ‘some’s’.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    These poor folks are out there. Let’s pray that the Lord will send some of them into our path and we might have a chance to share Christ with them in some way.

    Maybe by His grace they will become ‘some’s’.

  • Gary

    Frankly, Dr. Veith, I’m suspicious about where this is going; not the poll data, mind you, but the direction the analysis hints at.

    The two heaviest contributing factors, depending on which group of “none” one is in, are moralistic repression and secularization from within? Really? Why, that’s so convenient for us. That sounds an awful lot like legalism on the one hand and theological liberalism on the other. And what do you know, if those are the problems, the LC-MS is the perfect cure! I mean not just a contender, it’s the antidote for exactly what makes the nones the nones. And that means we don’t have to do anything except be authentically who we already are!

    Hmmmm. Ever heard of wishful thinking? Sure, Sola gratia, when it’s presented in very pure and overarching terms (I think of Dr. Rosenbladt on the WHI) is something powerful enough to shake up former Evangelicals turned off by Puritanism. I’ve also said for years that there’s no point in being the Church Of Anything Goes. Oh, and we have sacraments–boy, every recent seminary grad delights in emphasizing how mysterious and gracious are “the mysteries,” thus covering the transcendence purportedly missing from other Christian experiences. But my first reaction is this polling data will reinforce for people on this blog that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel which we reach by staying the course.

    Like it or not, this blog serves as an echo chamber too often, and it’s human nature to interpret data to vindicate one’s own position. That said, are there are other theories about why the nones are nones?

  • Gary

    Frankly, Dr. Veith, I’m suspicious about where this is going; not the poll data, mind you, but the direction the analysis hints at.

    The two heaviest contributing factors, depending on which group of “none” one is in, are moralistic repression and secularization from within? Really? Why, that’s so convenient for us. That sounds an awful lot like legalism on the one hand and theological liberalism on the other. And what do you know, if those are the problems, the LC-MS is the perfect cure! I mean not just a contender, it’s the antidote for exactly what makes the nones the nones. And that means we don’t have to do anything except be authentically who we already are!

    Hmmmm. Ever heard of wishful thinking? Sure, Sola gratia, when it’s presented in very pure and overarching terms (I think of Dr. Rosenbladt on the WHI) is something powerful enough to shake up former Evangelicals turned off by Puritanism. I’ve also said for years that there’s no point in being the Church Of Anything Goes. Oh, and we have sacraments–boy, every recent seminary grad delights in emphasizing how mysterious and gracious are “the mysteries,” thus covering the transcendence purportedly missing from other Christian experiences. But my first reaction is this polling data will reinforce for people on this blog that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel which we reach by staying the course.

    Like it or not, this blog serves as an echo chamber too often, and it’s human nature to interpret data to vindicate one’s own position. That said, are there are other theories about why the nones are nones?

  • http://fivepintlutheran2.wordpress.com/ David Cochrane

    Do you know any nones? The best way to deal with nones is one on one rather than with poles and programs for reaching them. Many of the nones with whom I have spoken are broken by the churches in which they were raised.

  • http://fivepintlutheran2.wordpress.com/ David Cochrane

    Do you know any nones? The best way to deal with nones is one on one rather than with poles and programs for reaching them. Many of the nones with whom I have spoken are broken by the churches in which they were raised.

  • Tom Hering

    Why do we see the “nones” as a failure of the Church? When did our Lord ever promise that the Church, faithfully doing what He commanded it to do, would appeal to everyone? Didn’t He rather make it clear that many would reject Him? Polling data and sociological analysis are interesting, but they tell us absolutely nothing about the faithfulness of the Church. They only tell us about the excuses fallen men like to make for themselves.

  • Tom Hering

    Why do we see the “nones” as a failure of the Church? When did our Lord ever promise that the Church, faithfully doing what He commanded it to do, would appeal to everyone? Didn’t He rather make it clear that many would reject Him? Polling data and sociological analysis are interesting, but they tell us absolutely nothing about the faithfulness of the Church. They only tell us about the excuses fallen men like to make for themselves.

  • #4 Kitty

    The latter have been encouraged by the advocates of the so-called “new atheism”—which is not new at all, but rather a reiteration of a tired 19th-century rationalism, ….

    I’ve heard gnu atheists respond to this with What exactly is so tired about 19th -century rationalism?
    To which my reply is that it’s as dry as a handful of pickling salt on the surface of the moon. The cultural response was the gnostic Romanticism of Blake, Keats, Coleridge, Wordsworth, et al. In many ways the “New Atheism” is a new fundamentalism where reality never reaches beyond what can be measured. I wonder, if after destroying Theism they’ll turn their canons ‘gainst poetry. In my opinion nones are not primarily atheist but gnostic. They want nothing to do with the straight jacket of organized religion but with the experience of spirituality.

    the LC-MS is the perfect cure! I mean not just a contender, it’s the antidote for exactly what makes the nones the nones. And that means we don’t have to do anything except be authentically who we already are!

    I can’t see how the nones would find the LCMS as anything other than repulsive. This is an organization that spells out down to the most minute detail what to believe and how to respond. “Conformity” is hardly a word that would inspire those who have put together an idiosyncratic personal creed, putting together bits and pieces of their own tradition with other components….
    However, it’s a word that informs our every gesture.

  • #4 Kitty

    The latter have been encouraged by the advocates of the so-called “new atheism”—which is not new at all, but rather a reiteration of a tired 19th-century rationalism, ….

    I’ve heard gnu atheists respond to this with What exactly is so tired about 19th -century rationalism?
    To which my reply is that it’s as dry as a handful of pickling salt on the surface of the moon. The cultural response was the gnostic Romanticism of Blake, Keats, Coleridge, Wordsworth, et al. In many ways the “New Atheism” is a new fundamentalism where reality never reaches beyond what can be measured. I wonder, if after destroying Theism they’ll turn their canons ‘gainst poetry. In my opinion nones are not primarily atheist but gnostic. They want nothing to do with the straight jacket of organized religion but with the experience of spirituality.

    the LC-MS is the perfect cure! I mean not just a contender, it’s the antidote for exactly what makes the nones the nones. And that means we don’t have to do anything except be authentically who we already are!

    I can’t see how the nones would find the LCMS as anything other than repulsive. This is an organization that spells out down to the most minute detail what to believe and how to respond. “Conformity” is hardly a word that would inspire those who have put together an idiosyncratic personal creed, putting together bits and pieces of their own tradition with other components….
    However, it’s a word that informs our every gesture.

  • Tom Hering

    We need a better label than “nones.” It’s a bit problematic for spoken conversations. “What in the world are they talking about at the next table? Nuns don’t like churches?”

  • Tom Hering

    We need a better label than “nones.” It’s a bit problematic for spoken conversations. “What in the world are they talking about at the next table? Nuns don’t like churches?”

  • http://acroamaticus.blogspot.com Pr Mark Henderson

    As a Lutheran the Large Catechism teaches me that no-one is a “none” when it comes to religion. Everyone has a “god”. Some have the true God, others have idols…that’s the difference. It all goes back to the 1st Commandment.

  • http://acroamaticus.blogspot.com Pr Mark Henderson

    As a Lutheran the Large Catechism teaches me that no-one is a “none” when it comes to religion. Everyone has a “god”. Some have the true God, others have idols…that’s the difference. It all goes back to the 1st Commandment.

  • Gary

    Kitty (@4) : “I can’t see how the nones would find the LCMS as anything other than repulsive. ”

    You may be right, although I personally I imagine it not being really any more repulsive than other churches. My point was rather that the excerpt form this article, along with how Dr. Veith framed the discussion, appears on THIS blog, and I think it’s because we want to interpret this polling data as somewhat positive for the LC-MS. Perhaps there is a silver lining, perhaps authentic Lutheran spirituality is different enough that the usual criticisms of churches won’t stick. I don’t know. But I believe there’s a tendency for confessional Lutherans to see in this what they want to see.

    Pr. Henderson (@9), catechetically speaking, you are exactly correct. The issue here, however, is how people self-identify. When presented with options about identifying with a major religion, Nones self-indentify as they do because of no affiliation. Even if people were given as a choice, “Idolater,” few would pick it, lol.

  • Gary

    Kitty (@4) : “I can’t see how the nones would find the LCMS as anything other than repulsive. ”

    You may be right, although I personally I imagine it not being really any more repulsive than other churches. My point was rather that the excerpt form this article, along with how Dr. Veith framed the discussion, appears on THIS blog, and I think it’s because we want to interpret this polling data as somewhat positive for the LC-MS. Perhaps there is a silver lining, perhaps authentic Lutheran spirituality is different enough that the usual criticisms of churches won’t stick. I don’t know. But I believe there’s a tendency for confessional Lutherans to see in this what they want to see.

    Pr. Henderson (@9), catechetically speaking, you are exactly correct. The issue here, however, is how people self-identify. When presented with options about identifying with a major religion, Nones self-indentify as they do because of no affiliation. Even if people were given as a choice, “Idolater,” few would pick it, lol.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Some atheist bloggers have noted that those low income folks who believe but do not attend are more likely to be minorities. In a blog post a while back, Dr. Veith reported on low income folks being less likely to affiliate and attend.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Some atheist bloggers have noted that those low income folks who believe but do not attend are more likely to be minorities. In a blog post a while back, Dr. Veith reported on low income folks being less likely to affiliate and attend.

  • Tom Hering

    I can’t imagine the unaffiliated being attracted by a genuinely Lutheran service, where Law and Gospel, Word and Sacrament, are properly handled, and the liturgy is beautifully traditional. After all, the main complaint of the unaffiliated is that they don’t want others defining their religion for them. End of story.

  • Tom Hering

    I can’t imagine the unaffiliated being attracted by a genuinely Lutheran service, where Law and Gospel, Word and Sacrament, are properly handled, and the liturgy is beautifully traditional. After all, the main complaint of the unaffiliated is that they don’t want others defining their religion for them. End of story.

  • SKPeterson

    The article does reference that many of the “nones” are low-income. If low-income status is to be taken as an indicator, I think part of their reasons for not joining a church are that they have some preconceived notions that they will not be welcomed because they are poor, or that they will be judged by their financial contributions to the congregation. Concomitantly, they may also feel that if they cannot “pay” they should not partake, as if their presence needs to be accompanied by dollars or it is stealing from God.

  • SKPeterson

    The article does reference that many of the “nones” are low-income. If low-income status is to be taken as an indicator, I think part of their reasons for not joining a church are that they have some preconceived notions that they will not be welcomed because they are poor, or that they will be judged by their financial contributions to the congregation. Concomitantly, they may also feel that if they cannot “pay” they should not partake, as if their presence needs to be accompanied by dollars or it is stealing from God.

  • Tom Hering

    SK, I think you’ve hit on something there. Class also comes into it. Most churches try to attract the middle class – both to increase their finances and their respectability.

  • Tom Hering

    SK, I think you’ve hit on something there. Class also comes into it. Most churches try to attract the middle class – both to increase their finances and their respectability.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @13 and 14

    Actually, church attendance (not belief) correlates with higher social function.

    Inferentially, I assume that higher income also correlates with higher social function because you have to go to job interviews to get better jobs and people naturally like folks who are more sociable.

    People who are lower in social function are going to be less likely to join any group, including a religious group.

    We know that plenty of atheists/agnostics are involved in various social stuff other than religious stuff. No surprise, they are higher in social function that people who are just unaffiliated.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @13 and 14

    Actually, church attendance (not belief) correlates with higher social function.

    Inferentially, I assume that higher income also correlates with higher social function because you have to go to job interviews to get better jobs and people naturally like folks who are more sociable.

    People who are lower in social function are going to be less likely to join any group, including a religious group.

    We know that plenty of atheists/agnostics are involved in various social stuff other than religious stuff. No surprise, they are higher in social function that people who are just unaffiliated.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Speaking of religion, affiliation and social function, this NYTimes article is priceless:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/12/world/asia/12iht-letter12.html?_r=2&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Speaking of religion, affiliation and social function, this NYTimes article is priceless:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/12/world/asia/12iht-letter12.html?_r=2&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

  • Gary

    sg (@15) : “People who are lower in social function are going to be less likely to join any group, including a religious group.”

    Absolutely, and thank you for pointing that out. Definitely factors into how we interpret what the “nones” are about.

  • Gary

    sg (@15) : “People who are lower in social function are going to be less likely to join any group, including a religious group.”

    Absolutely, and thank you for pointing that out. Definitely factors into how we interpret what the “nones” are about.

  • trotk

    I am baffled by the relative childless-ness of the nones. The affluent (or at least I thought) had the lowest rates of childbirth. Perhaps the nones cease to be nones when their kids are born, simply because they realize some need or desire for their kids that they can’t provide, so they take them to church.

  • trotk

    I am baffled by the relative childless-ness of the nones. The affluent (or at least I thought) had the lowest rates of childbirth. Perhaps the nones cease to be nones when their kids are born, simply because they realize some need or desire for their kids that they can’t provide, so they take them to church.

  • SKPeterson

    trotk – You bring up a good point to which I would like to ask the following question: What is the age breakdown of the nones? Are they largely found in the college, post-college age twenties and early 30′s?

  • SKPeterson

    trotk – You bring up a good point to which I would like to ask the following question: What is the age breakdown of the nones? Are they largely found in the college, post-college age twenties and early 30′s?

  • trotk

    If you read the article, they are actually older than I expected. I didn’t notice the hard data, but this line, “According to the invaluable data on religion ongoingly posted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, the incidence of “nones” is highest in the age group 30-49″ suggests a very different group than I initially pictured. We aren’t talking about young, counter-cultural, make your own spirituality, newly-wedded, non-college attending, working in a coffee shop/struggling artists/otherwise low-wage earning people.
    Instead, these are middle-aged, poorly educated, childless, married, lower-middle class people. Again, it is the childless that is weird to me, because if you changed childless to “3 children” in the description, you have suddenly described tons of people I know who simply prefer NASCAR or the NFL to church.

  • trotk

    If you read the article, they are actually older than I expected. I didn’t notice the hard data, but this line, “According to the invaluable data on religion ongoingly posted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, the incidence of “nones” is highest in the age group 30-49″ suggests a very different group than I initially pictured. We aren’t talking about young, counter-cultural, make your own spirituality, newly-wedded, non-college attending, working in a coffee shop/struggling artists/otherwise low-wage earning people.
    Instead, these are middle-aged, poorly educated, childless, married, lower-middle class people. Again, it is the childless that is weird to me, because if you changed childless to “3 children” in the description, you have suddenly described tons of people I know who simply prefer NASCAR or the NFL to church.

  • Jacob C

    I like what Gary said about Lutheranism filling the void between conservative legalism and liberal antinomianism. I can imagine people (the “nones”) being dissatisfied with the empty spirituality on the left and the rightwing tendency to confuse the Gospel with moralism. But where to look? Imagine if we were two-dimensional creatures. Imagine if we lived on some flat legalist continuum (either thinking we are doing okay on this continuum or rebelling against it – and we are actually rebelling against it whether we think we are or not). Now here comes this thing called the Gospel. The Gospel is not so much a middle ground between legalism and antinomianism as it is something incomprehensible from a third dimension outside of our comfortable little two-dimensional world (extra nos).

    I think Lutheranism proclaims the Gospel plainly, letting it invade our world through Word and Sacrament (that is not to say all Lutherans proclaim the Gospel clearly). That does not mean that other churches don’t have the Gospel. Some might preach a good Gospel message but then they quickly drag you back to the two-dimensional world of how you can become a better practitioner of the Law, as if that is the whole point. But we all are naturally offended by the Gospel because it is outside of us. This is true whether we are a legalist, thinking we are doing pretty good with the Law or whether we are a “none” who is “spiritual” (with a self-made “spirituality”). So there is a great void that needs to be filled with the Gospel but few people hear.

  • Jacob C

    I like what Gary said about Lutheranism filling the void between conservative legalism and liberal antinomianism. I can imagine people (the “nones”) being dissatisfied with the empty spirituality on the left and the rightwing tendency to confuse the Gospel with moralism. But where to look? Imagine if we were two-dimensional creatures. Imagine if we lived on some flat legalist continuum (either thinking we are doing okay on this continuum or rebelling against it – and we are actually rebelling against it whether we think we are or not). Now here comes this thing called the Gospel. The Gospel is not so much a middle ground between legalism and antinomianism as it is something incomprehensible from a third dimension outside of our comfortable little two-dimensional world (extra nos).

    I think Lutheranism proclaims the Gospel plainly, letting it invade our world through Word and Sacrament (that is not to say all Lutherans proclaim the Gospel clearly). That does not mean that other churches don’t have the Gospel. Some might preach a good Gospel message but then they quickly drag you back to the two-dimensional world of how you can become a better practitioner of the Law, as if that is the whole point. But we all are naturally offended by the Gospel because it is outside of us. This is true whether we are a legalist, thinking we are doing pretty good with the Law or whether we are a “none” who is “spiritual” (with a self-made “spirituality”). So there is a great void that needs to be filled with the Gospel but few people hear.

  • #4 Kitty

    @SKPeterson

    You bring up a good point to which I would like to ask the following question: What is the age breakdown of the nones?

    This study breaks it down quite well.

  • #4 Kitty

    @SKPeterson

    You bring up a good point to which I would like to ask the following question: What is the age breakdown of the nones?

    This study breaks it down quite well.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Instead, these are middle-aged, poorly educated, childless, married, lower-middle class people. Again, it is the childless that is weird to me,”

    Nah, not weird. It is just low social function. Highly social people are more likely to have kids and go to church partly because they like people and get along well with others. Even infertile people can adopt. People who don’t relate well to others don’t want to adopt kids.

    I would add that in 1970 10% of women over 40 had no kids. Now that is 20%. It seems this could be a self limiting trend as those who don’t want kids, don’t have them. I just want to reiterate that agnostics and atheists are not necessarily low in social function. So one does not equal the other. Since 60% of nones claimed some belief in the supernatural, we know that the unaffiliated are not the same as atheists and agnostics.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Instead, these are middle-aged, poorly educated, childless, married, lower-middle class people. Again, it is the childless that is weird to me,”

    Nah, not weird. It is just low social function. Highly social people are more likely to have kids and go to church partly because they like people and get along well with others. Even infertile people can adopt. People who don’t relate well to others don’t want to adopt kids.

    I would add that in 1970 10% of women over 40 had no kids. Now that is 20%. It seems this could be a self limiting trend as those who don’t want kids, don’t have them. I just want to reiterate that agnostics and atheists are not necessarily low in social function. So one does not equal the other. Since 60% of nones claimed some belief in the supernatural, we know that the unaffiliated are not the same as atheists and agnostics.

  • SKPeterson

    Thanks, Kitty. At first cursory pass, it follows what I was thinking might be the case.

    That being said, I don’t read this as in any way indicating that the LCMS is the ideal target church for the nones. I’d like to think so, and that we’ll capture 20% of the 18-29 year old without trying, but I somehow doubt that’ll happen.

  • SKPeterson

    Thanks, Kitty. At first cursory pass, it follows what I was thinking might be the case.

    That being said, I don’t read this as in any way indicating that the LCMS is the ideal target church for the nones. I’d like to think so, and that we’ll capture 20% of the 18-29 year old without trying, but I somehow doubt that’ll happen.

  • trotk

    sg, you are making the assumption that this has something to do with how social the person is. Whether or not that is true is not proven at all.

    Kitty’s data, though, disagrees with the article in Veith’s blog post, as it claims, “Class is not a distinguishing characteristic: Nones are not different from the general population by education or income.”

    If this is true, the discussion is moot. But, even if the nones are marked by the lack of the tendency to be social, your assertion that highly social people are more likely to have kids is completely unfounded.

  • trotk

    sg, you are making the assumption that this has something to do with how social the person is. Whether or not that is true is not proven at all.

    Kitty’s data, though, disagrees with the article in Veith’s blog post, as it claims, “Class is not a distinguishing characteristic: Nones are not different from the general population by education or income.”

    If this is true, the discussion is moot. But, even if the nones are marked by the lack of the tendency to be social, your assertion that highly social people are more likely to have kids is completely unfounded.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    I want to say something on this that I think most of the Lutherans on this board will probably agree with.

    Whenever there’s a demographic presented about “people X” or “people Y” and their cultural upbringing, we need to really, in one sense, disregard that. Rich, poor, majority or minority ethnicity-we’re all equalized by one thing: we’re all sinners.

    I don’t care what a person claims for their background; none of us can escape the fact that we are born under the judgment of God, born with a “guilty” verdict stamped upon our soul, and born spiritually dead with a stillborn spirit.

    And the only thing that changes this is the Word of God preached, with the Law in its sternness, the gospel in its sweetness, and the Spirit regenerating hearts to believe. And that is the only formula we need; the very formula Christ ordained for the preachers of the Word.

    We cannot fall into the trap of thinking “Well, because their demographic entails A,B, and C,” then we need to change our approach..” No! It is still by the preaching of Law and Gospel, still by the good news of our debt nailed to the cross of Christ, still by the lavish grace of our Heavenly Father, still by the administration of Word and Sacrament, still by faith and not of works that salvation will come!

    And you know what? We will NEVER win a demographic to Christ. We will see God draw people out of a certain demographic, but to say “Let’s win a demographic” is foolish. Let’s preach the gospel indiscriminately, like the sower did with the seed on the soils, and let God work in the hearts of the hearers. Let’s not fall into the trap of a large portion of evangelicalism: namely, that it’s all up to us to be clever and inventive, while God sits back wringing His hands and hoping that something works.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    I want to say something on this that I think most of the Lutherans on this board will probably agree with.

    Whenever there’s a demographic presented about “people X” or “people Y” and their cultural upbringing, we need to really, in one sense, disregard that. Rich, poor, majority or minority ethnicity-we’re all equalized by one thing: we’re all sinners.

    I don’t care what a person claims for their background; none of us can escape the fact that we are born under the judgment of God, born with a “guilty” verdict stamped upon our soul, and born spiritually dead with a stillborn spirit.

    And the only thing that changes this is the Word of God preached, with the Law in its sternness, the gospel in its sweetness, and the Spirit regenerating hearts to believe. And that is the only formula we need; the very formula Christ ordained for the preachers of the Word.

    We cannot fall into the trap of thinking “Well, because their demographic entails A,B, and C,” then we need to change our approach..” No! It is still by the preaching of Law and Gospel, still by the good news of our debt nailed to the cross of Christ, still by the lavish grace of our Heavenly Father, still by the administration of Word and Sacrament, still by faith and not of works that salvation will come!

    And you know what? We will NEVER win a demographic to Christ. We will see God draw people out of a certain demographic, but to say “Let’s win a demographic” is foolish. Let’s preach the gospel indiscriminately, like the sower did with the seed on the soils, and let God work in the hearts of the hearers. Let’s not fall into the trap of a large portion of evangelicalism: namely, that it’s all up to us to be clever and inventive, while God sits back wringing His hands and hoping that something works.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    BTW, for the record, you can practice martial arts without delving into the Eastern philosophies behind it. I have (and probably need to get back into it).

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    BTW, for the record, you can practice martial arts without delving into the Eastern philosophies behind it. I have (and probably need to get back into it).

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    ” your assertion that highly social people are more likely to have kids is completely unfounded.”

    Look, I don’t mean to sound snarky, because I really don’t mean it that way, but in my grandmother’s day stating something so intuitively obvious would have been meet with a rejoinder like, “duh.”

    Anyway, since we live in the age of willful ignorance, at least we have expensive social studies to tell us stuff people just used to be able to see with their own two eyes:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3234177/

    Childless women in this study reported statistically significant poorer general health, vitality, social functioning and mental health when compared to the adult female population of Australia.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    ” your assertion that highly social people are more likely to have kids is completely unfounded.”

    Look, I don’t mean to sound snarky, because I really don’t mean it that way, but in my grandmother’s day stating something so intuitively obvious would have been meet with a rejoinder like, “duh.”

    Anyway, since we live in the age of willful ignorance, at least we have expensive social studies to tell us stuff people just used to be able to see with their own two eyes:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3234177/

    Childless women in this study reported statistically significant poorer general health, vitality, social functioning and mental health when compared to the adult female population of Australia.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @26

    Amen, brother.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @26

    Amen, brother.

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  • Jonathan

    Micheal B. @1: I see this exactly at my school. After suffering through a semester of philosophy (I was a miserable apologist…), I was made well aware of loads of people who would probably cringe at the thought of committing to something so specific as “Christianity” (let alone any kind of Lutheranism!), yet they readily confessed their “belief in God”, or rather something more akin to The Force. I have one guy at my lunch table that might fall into this type of “none”. And then we have the atheists who decry any organization with any hint of religion to be completely absurd, false, and dangerous. They consider crazy militant groups and pacifist groups to be intellectually the same. I have a guy on my track team who could be this type of “none”. (recently we started an explicitly apologetic argument online. It’s been civil but not very productive)

  • Jonathan

    Micheal B. @1: I see this exactly at my school. After suffering through a semester of philosophy (I was a miserable apologist…), I was made well aware of loads of people who would probably cringe at the thought of committing to something so specific as “Christianity” (let alone any kind of Lutheranism!), yet they readily confessed their “belief in God”, or rather something more akin to The Force. I have one guy at my lunch table that might fall into this type of “none”. And then we have the atheists who decry any organization with any hint of religion to be completely absurd, false, and dangerous. They consider crazy militant groups and pacifist groups to be intellectually the same. I have a guy on my track team who could be this type of “none”. (recently we started an explicitly apologetic argument online. It’s been civil but not very productive)

  • Grace

    Jonathan @ 30

    ” I was made well aware of loads of people who would probably cringe at the thought of committing to something so specific as “Christianity” (let alone any kind of Lutheranism!)

    Specifically, “Christianity” is the answer: ie; Believing in Christ as Savior, repentance and Salvation – being a Lutheran won’t save a soul. Lots of souls believe their church, is their Savior. However it isn’t – only through, grace are ye saved through faith in Christ will save man, to live forever with the risen LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ.

    For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    Ephesians 2:8

  • Grace

    Jonathan @ 30

    ” I was made well aware of loads of people who would probably cringe at the thought of committing to something so specific as “Christianity” (let alone any kind of Lutheranism!)

    Specifically, “Christianity” is the answer: ie; Believing in Christ as Savior, repentance and Salvation – being a Lutheran won’t save a soul. Lots of souls believe their church, is their Savior. However it isn’t – only through, grace are ye saved through faith in Christ will save man, to live forever with the risen LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ.

    For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    Ephesians 2:8

  • Tom Hering

    Time for another reading comprehension lesson, Grace.

    You see, when Jonathan says he can’t see the unaffiliated

    committing to something so specific as “Christianity” (let alone any kind of Lutheranism!)

    he means he can’t see the unaffiliated committing to a specific religion like Christianity, much less a specific Christianity like Lutheranism. Because the unaffiliated prefer a very personal and generalized religion, without clearly and carefully stated beliefs. Kind of like non-denominational Evangelicals.

    Now you should be able to understand his point perfectly. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    Time for another reading comprehension lesson, Grace.

    You see, when Jonathan says he can’t see the unaffiliated

    committing to something so specific as “Christianity” (let alone any kind of Lutheranism!)

    he means he can’t see the unaffiliated committing to a specific religion like Christianity, much less a specific Christianity like Lutheranism. Because the unaffiliated prefer a very personal and generalized religion, without clearly and carefully stated beliefs. Kind of like non-denominational Evangelicals.

    Now you should be able to understand his point perfectly. :-D

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @32

    Interesting point, Tom. It seems some seek catholicity through atomization. Like we can just believe the Bible and have unity. That sure hasn’t worked. There is this kind of assumption that lay people can just pick up a Bible and understand everything; the picking of verses out of context as though each is like a proverb not a statement in a narrative. I mean, yes, some are, but most aren’t.

    Most heresies have a name, but I haven’t seen a label applied to the fallacious statement, “You don’t have to go to church to be a Christian.” This heresy should be labeled, as we are directly commanded to come together and work together.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @32

    Interesting point, Tom. It seems some seek catholicity through atomization. Like we can just believe the Bible and have unity. That sure hasn’t worked. There is this kind of assumption that lay people can just pick up a Bible and understand everything; the picking of verses out of context as though each is like a proverb not a statement in a narrative. I mean, yes, some are, but most aren’t.

    Most heresies have a name, but I haven’t seen a label applied to the fallacious statement, “You don’t have to go to church to be a Christian.” This heresy should be labeled, as we are directly commanded to come together and work together.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Lots of souls believe their church, is their Savior. However it isn’t – only through, grace are ye saved through faith in Christ will save man, to live forever with the risen LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ.”

    ooh, ooh, I recognize this! A really famous guy said this…

    It was…

    It was…

    Martin Luther.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Lots of souls believe their church, is their Savior. However it isn’t – only through, grace are ye saved through faith in Christ will save man, to live forever with the risen LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ.”

    ooh, ooh, I recognize this! A really famous guy said this…

    It was…

    It was…

    Martin Luther.

  • Tom Hering

    sg, I’m not sure “don’t have to go to church to be a Christian” is the stance the unaffiliated take, because I’m not sure they (some? many? most?) identify as “Christian.” Do we know?

  • Tom Hering

    sg, I’m not sure “don’t have to go to church to be a Christian” is the stance the unaffiliated take, because I’m not sure they (some? many? most?) identify as “Christian.” Do we know?

  • Tom Hering

    sg @ 34, :-D

  • Tom Hering

    sg @ 34, :-D

  • Michael B.

    @Jonathan@30
    “And then we have the atheists who decry any organization with any hint of religion to be completely absurd, false, and dangerous. They consider crazy militant groups and pacifist groups to be intellectually the same. ”

    One thing that I see “Nones” do all the time is try to imply that Christian fundamentalists are as bad as Muslim fundamentalists. To which I say: try finding a single Christian who thinks it’s okay to bomb a news station because the news station published an image of Jesus in a disrespectful fashion.

    Having said that, it’s Fundamentalist Christians, not Fundamentalist Christianity that are less extreme than its Muslim counterparts. Just take the pro-life issue. If one believes that the fetus is really a person, there’s nothing inconsistent about murdering abortionists. If lethal force is justified in protecting born people, why would it not be justified in protecting unborn “people”?

  • Michael B.

    @Jonathan@30
    “And then we have the atheists who decry any organization with any hint of religion to be completely absurd, false, and dangerous. They consider crazy militant groups and pacifist groups to be intellectually the same. ”

    One thing that I see “Nones” do all the time is try to imply that Christian fundamentalists are as bad as Muslim fundamentalists. To which I say: try finding a single Christian who thinks it’s okay to bomb a news station because the news station published an image of Jesus in a disrespectful fashion.

    Having said that, it’s Fundamentalist Christians, not Fundamentalist Christianity that are less extreme than its Muslim counterparts. Just take the pro-life issue. If one believes that the fetus is really a person, there’s nothing inconsistent about murdering abortionists. If lethal force is justified in protecting born people, why would it not be justified in protecting unborn “people”?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @35

    Oh, yeah I agree. It was kind of a stream of consciousness comment. I would guess some fraction of the unaffiliated are quasi Christian. If for no other reason than that they aren’t too familiar with other religions.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @35

    Oh, yeah I agree. It was kind of a stream of consciousness comment. I would guess some fraction of the unaffiliated are quasi Christian. If for no other reason than that they aren’t too familiar with other religions.

  • Tom Hering

    Re: @ 37. So we’re going to go off on an abortion tangent now? Sheesh.

  • Tom Hering

    Re: @ 37. So we’re going to go off on an abortion tangent now? Sheesh.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    If one believes that the fetus is really a person, there’s nothing inconsistent about murdering abortionists. If lethal force is justified in protecting born people, why would it not be justified in protecting unborn “people”?

    Well, there is no shortage of Christian martyrs in history who didn’t even use force to save their own lives. So, it seems reconcilable. There are plenty of Christian pacifist groups aka Amish who would condemn abortion as murder but wouldn’t murder. Also, plenty of Catholics are not going to see that murdering abortionists is the way to end abortion when democratic countries already have the authority to end the widespread practice of abortion through legislation and law enforcement. Heck our prisons are full of murderers who would likely reoffend, yet we don’t execute, but rather incarcerate. So the real reason for not killing abortionists isn’t so much that capital punishment doesn’t fit the crime but rather we value human life even the lives of the mentally deranged.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    If one believes that the fetus is really a person, there’s nothing inconsistent about murdering abortionists. If lethal force is justified in protecting born people, why would it not be justified in protecting unborn “people”?

    Well, there is no shortage of Christian martyrs in history who didn’t even use force to save their own lives. So, it seems reconcilable. There are plenty of Christian pacifist groups aka Amish who would condemn abortion as murder but wouldn’t murder. Also, plenty of Catholics are not going to see that murdering abortionists is the way to end abortion when democratic countries already have the authority to end the widespread practice of abortion through legislation and law enforcement. Heck our prisons are full of murderers who would likely reoffend, yet we don’t execute, but rather incarcerate. So the real reason for not killing abortionists isn’t so much that capital punishment doesn’t fit the crime but rather we value human life even the lives of the mentally deranged.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I wonder whether the “don’t have to go to church to be a Christian” idea was a step onto the slippery slope leading to “spiritual but not religious” idea. I mean staying at home, misinterpreting what you read by yourself from the Bible, if you read it at all, is all so self-referencing. Self as judge and interpreter of Scripture rather that at least giving the words of the preacher a hearing. The next step “spiritual but not religious” is just a mystical feeling with no real practice even as minimal as Bible reading. At that point it is entirely self referencing but drawing on the universe as somehow endorsing one’s own authority to judge what and how to believe. It is basically just delusion.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I wonder whether the “don’t have to go to church to be a Christian” idea was a step onto the slippery slope leading to “spiritual but not religious” idea. I mean staying at home, misinterpreting what you read by yourself from the Bible, if you read it at all, is all so self-referencing. Self as judge and interpreter of Scripture rather that at least giving the words of the preacher a hearing. The next step “spiritual but not religious” is just a mystical feeling with no real practice even as minimal as Bible reading. At that point it is entirely self referencing but drawing on the universe as somehow endorsing one’s own authority to judge what and how to believe. It is basically just delusion.

  • Norman Teigen

    Readers will also find Putnam and Robinson’s work [American Grace] an interesting study in the sociology of religion. The ‘nones’ are discussed. It’s a must read, I think.

    I think that one might be able to predict the effect of the opposition of the evangelicals, Catholics, and Missouri Synod Lutherans to the Affordable Care Act. The results on this subject are already starting to be seen.

    Norman Teigen, Layman
    Evangelical Lutheran Synod

  • Norman Teigen

    Readers will also find Putnam and Robinson’s work [American Grace] an interesting study in the sociology of religion. The ‘nones’ are discussed. It’s a must read, I think.

    I think that one might be able to predict the effect of the opposition of the evangelicals, Catholics, and Missouri Synod Lutherans to the Affordable Care Act. The results on this subject are already starting to be seen.

    Norman Teigen, Layman
    Evangelical Lutheran Synod

  • Bob

    This is an organization that spells out down to the most minute detail what to believe and how to respond

    #4
    Kitty,

    You seem to have the impression, from this post and I believe others I’ve read of yours, that everybody in the LCMS lines up
    with each other on everything.

    Surely you know that a confessional statement does not mean everyone in that believes the same about nontheological issues, right?

    Even true on this blog…and I could introduce you to folks at my LCMS church who represent a variety of cultural and political positions, and not all on the right, by any means.

  • Bob

    This is an organization that spells out down to the most minute detail what to believe and how to respond

    #4
    Kitty,

    You seem to have the impression, from this post and I believe others I’ve read of yours, that everybody in the LCMS lines up
    with each other on everything.

    Surely you know that a confessional statement does not mean everyone in that believes the same about nontheological issues, right?

    Even true on this blog…and I could introduce you to folks at my LCMS church who represent a variety of cultural and political positions, and not all on the right, by any means.

  • #4 Kitty

    @Bob
    Yes, thanks for pointing that out. I almost always take things too far. I apologize if I offended you.

  • #4 Kitty

    @Bob
    Yes, thanks for pointing that out. I almost always take things too far. I apologize if I offended you.

  • Bob

    @Kitty,

    No, no offense taken.

    Have a great day.

  • Bob

    @Kitty,

    No, no offense taken.

    Have a great day.

  • helen

    I think that one might be able to predict the effect of the opposition of the evangelicals, Catholics, and Missouri Synod Lutherans to the Affordable Care Act. The results on this subject are already starting to be seen.
    Norman Teigen, Layman
    Evangelical Lutheran Synod

    You’ve said this elsewhere, I think. Might as well ask you here, “What do you see?” or “What is your prediction?”

  • helen

    I think that one might be able to predict the effect of the opposition of the evangelicals, Catholics, and Missouri Synod Lutherans to the Affordable Care Act. The results on this subject are already starting to be seen.
    Norman Teigen, Layman
    Evangelical Lutheran Synod

    You’ve said this elsewhere, I think. Might as well ask you here, “What do you see?” or “What is your prediction?”

  • Grace

    sg @ 34

    I posted @ 31

    “Specifically, “Christianity” is the answer: ie; Believing in Christ as Savior, repentance and Salvation – being a Lutheran won’t save a soul. Lots of souls believe their church, is their Savior. However it isn’t – only through, grace are ye saved through faith in Christ will save man, to live forever with the risen LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ.

    For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    Ephesians 2:8

    You posted an incorrect remark at 34:

    ooh, ooh, I recognize this! A really famous guy said this…
    It was…
    It was…
    Martin Luther.”

    Luther didn’t pen the above Scripture in the Bible, Paul wrote the words, being led by the HOLY Spirit. Even as a so called “joke” it’s a bad one.

    Luther did change the wording, and admitted so, by adding “alone” to Romans 3:28
    Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith alonewithout the deeds of the law. Romans 3:28

    The highlighted word “alone” was added by Martin Luther, and then he quipped:

    “You tell me what a great fuss the Papists are making because the word alone in not in the text of Paul…say right out to him: ‘Dr. Martin Luther will have it so,’…I will have it so, and I order it to be so, and my will is reason enough. I know very well that the word ‘alone’ is not in the Latin or the Greek text

    It smacks of “the prima Luther” syndrome he ordered, and was proud of.

    Luther made the statement:

    a simple layman armed with Scripture is greater than the mightiest pope without it“.

    This statement can be applied to any individual who studies the Scripture. It is not Luther who defines the Word of God, separate and above all the rest, it is for each man, who studies, as the Bible states:

    Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
    2 Timothy 2:15

  • Grace

    sg @ 34

    I posted @ 31

    “Specifically, “Christianity” is the answer: ie; Believing in Christ as Savior, repentance and Salvation – being a Lutheran won’t save a soul. Lots of souls believe their church, is their Savior. However it isn’t – only through, grace are ye saved through faith in Christ will save man, to live forever with the risen LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ.

    For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    Ephesians 2:8

    You posted an incorrect remark at 34:

    ooh, ooh, I recognize this! A really famous guy said this…
    It was…
    It was…
    Martin Luther.”

    Luther didn’t pen the above Scripture in the Bible, Paul wrote the words, being led by the HOLY Spirit. Even as a so called “joke” it’s a bad one.

    Luther did change the wording, and admitted so, by adding “alone” to Romans 3:28
    Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith alonewithout the deeds of the law. Romans 3:28

    The highlighted word “alone” was added by Martin Luther, and then he quipped:

    “You tell me what a great fuss the Papists are making because the word alone in not in the text of Paul…say right out to him: ‘Dr. Martin Luther will have it so,’…I will have it so, and I order it to be so, and my will is reason enough. I know very well that the word ‘alone’ is not in the Latin or the Greek text

    It smacks of “the prima Luther” syndrome he ordered, and was proud of.

    Luther made the statement:

    a simple layman armed with Scripture is greater than the mightiest pope without it“.

    This statement can be applied to any individual who studies the Scripture. It is not Luther who defines the Word of God, separate and above all the rest, it is for each man, who studies, as the Bible states:

    Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
    2 Timothy 2:15

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Grace, you truncated the statement I was referring to.

    Here is what I quoted in its entirety with bold for emphasis:

    “Lots of souls believe their church, is their Savior. However it isn’t – only through, grace are ye saved through faith in Christ will save man, to live forever with the risen LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ.”

    It was the popes who were implying that people need grace and works and the church, etc for salvation and Martin Luther disputed that way of representing the Gospel. I figured we all know that the above statement by you wasn’t word for word from Luther, rather it simply repeated Luther’s insistence that salvation is by grace and not grace and a bunch of human additions.

    Hence, Luther also said, ““a simple layman armed with Scripture is greater than the mightiest pope without it.”

    Notice however, Luther does not say that a layman reading Scripture is greater than a pope when that pope is a scholar faithful to scripture. Luther states that it is the reliance on Scripture by the layman in contrast to the disregard of Scripture by the pope that makes one who trusts greater than one who does not. I don’t know how much from Luther, you have read, but you can see that he pointed people in the right direction by his insistence on the solas over human authority.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Grace, you truncated the statement I was referring to.

    Here is what I quoted in its entirety with bold for emphasis:

    “Lots of souls believe their church, is their Savior. However it isn’t – only through, grace are ye saved through faith in Christ will save man, to live forever with the risen LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ.”

    It was the popes who were implying that people need grace and works and the church, etc for salvation and Martin Luther disputed that way of representing the Gospel. I figured we all know that the above statement by you wasn’t word for word from Luther, rather it simply repeated Luther’s insistence that salvation is by grace and not grace and a bunch of human additions.

    Hence, Luther also said, ““a simple layman armed with Scripture is greater than the mightiest pope without it.”

    Notice however, Luther does not say that a layman reading Scripture is greater than a pope when that pope is a scholar faithful to scripture. Luther states that it is the reliance on Scripture by the layman in contrast to the disregard of Scripture by the pope that makes one who trusts greater than one who does not. I don’t know how much from Luther, you have read, but you can see that he pointed people in the right direction by his insistence on the solas over human authority.

  • Grace

    sg @ 48

    “Notice however, Luther does not say that a layman reading Scripture is greater than a pope when that pope is a scholar faithful to scripture.

    When did the Pope’s become “faithful to Scripture” name the Pope – Luther made it clear:

    a simple layman armed with Scripture is greater than the mightiest pope without it“.

    If you sg, believe that the Pope, is faithful to scholarly study of the Bible, you’re wrong. Praying to Mary and a variety of other saints. That’s just for starters, as to their “tradition” or twisted doctrine. There is not one Pope who understands Scripture, if they did, they wouldn’t be practicing Marion worship.

    “Luther states that it is the reliance on Scripture by the layman in contrast to the disregard of Scripture by the pope that makes one who trusts greater than one who does not.”

    Scripture is KEY, it’s not what Luther states in his volumes of books, it’s the words of Christ in the four Gospels, and the other books, which trump Luther. Can you name one Pope as you commented in 48 who — “pope is a scholar who was faithful to Scripture” Which one would that have been? The one Rome now seats, or Pope Paul, or any of the rest.

  • Grace

    sg @ 48

    “Notice however, Luther does not say that a layman reading Scripture is greater than a pope when that pope is a scholar faithful to scripture.

    When did the Pope’s become “faithful to Scripture” name the Pope – Luther made it clear:

    a simple layman armed with Scripture is greater than the mightiest pope without it“.

    If you sg, believe that the Pope, is faithful to scholarly study of the Bible, you’re wrong. Praying to Mary and a variety of other saints. That’s just for starters, as to their “tradition” or twisted doctrine. There is not one Pope who understands Scripture, if they did, they wouldn’t be practicing Marion worship.

    “Luther states that it is the reliance on Scripture by the layman in contrast to the disregard of Scripture by the pope that makes one who trusts greater than one who does not.”

    Scripture is KEY, it’s not what Luther states in his volumes of books, it’s the words of Christ in the four Gospels, and the other books, which trump Luther. Can you name one Pope as you commented in 48 who — “pope is a scholar who was faithful to Scripture” Which one would that have been? The one Rome now seats, or Pope Paul, or any of the rest.

  • Grace

    sg,

    Here my dear is the quote in full, you might take note of Luther’s first words:

    I have the right to believe freely, to be a slave to no man’s authority, to confess what appears to be true whether it is proved or disproved, whether it is spoken by Catholic or by heretic… In matters of faith I think that neither counsel nor Pope nor any man has the power over my conscience. And where they disagree with Scripture, I deny Pope and council and all. A simple layman armed with Scripture is greater than the mightiest Pope without it.”
    Martin Luther

    This doesn’t apply just to Martin Luther but every single person who is a Believer in Christ Jesus as the Savior, who died and resurrected from the grave.

  • Grace

    sg,

    Here my dear is the quote in full, you might take note of Luther’s first words:

    I have the right to believe freely, to be a slave to no man’s authority, to confess what appears to be true whether it is proved or disproved, whether it is spoken by Catholic or by heretic… In matters of faith I think that neither counsel nor Pope nor any man has the power over my conscience. And where they disagree with Scripture, I deny Pope and council and all. A simple layman armed with Scripture is greater than the mightiest Pope without it.”
    Martin Luther

    This doesn’t apply just to Martin Luther but every single person who is a Believer in Christ Jesus as the Savior, who died and resurrected from the grave.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Luther did change the wording, and admitted so, by adding “alone” to Romans 3:28
    Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith alonewithout the deeds of the law. Romans 3:28″

    Actually, Luther added the word “allein” in his German translation. It really isn’t possible to translate word for word from another language because the structures of different languages embed meanings at the word and sentence level. I don’t think most protestants disagree with Luther’s rendering “So halten wir es nun, daß der Mensch gerecht werde ohne des Gesetzes Werke, allein durch den Glauben.” Word for word in English, “So hold we it now, that the person righteous becomes without the Law’s works, alone through the belief. See how awkward that is, and you lose the “of” in “works of the Law”. You have to add the word “of” and can’t use a possessive there in English like you can in German. So, the translation issue is really a translation issue. He isn’t actually adding something. Of course at the time, the Roman church would probably dispute pretty much anything he did because of all the other things that they really did disagree with.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Luther did change the wording, and admitted so, by adding “alone” to Romans 3:28
    Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith alonewithout the deeds of the law. Romans 3:28″

    Actually, Luther added the word “allein” in his German translation. It really isn’t possible to translate word for word from another language because the structures of different languages embed meanings at the word and sentence level. I don’t think most protestants disagree with Luther’s rendering “So halten wir es nun, daß der Mensch gerecht werde ohne des Gesetzes Werke, allein durch den Glauben.” Word for word in English, “So hold we it now, that the person righteous becomes without the Law’s works, alone through the belief. See how awkward that is, and you lose the “of” in “works of the Law”. You have to add the word “of” and can’t use a possessive there in English like you can in German. So, the translation issue is really a translation issue. He isn’t actually adding something. Of course at the time, the Roman church would probably dispute pretty much anything he did because of all the other things that they really did disagree with.

  • Grace

    sg,

    Your EXCUSE for Luther’s admitted changing of Romans 3:28, attempting to carve out an legitimate reason, falls flat. The reason is, Luther admitted what he did, he was proud to trump the Word of God, even though he knew it was not in the manuscripts (Greek) – it was nothing short of arrogant, rewriting what Paul had been given from the HOLY Spirit, to pen, so that we might understand.

    You nor Luther have fooled those who have studied the Scriptures.

  • Grace

    sg,

    Your EXCUSE for Luther’s admitted changing of Romans 3:28, attempting to carve out an legitimate reason, falls flat. The reason is, Luther admitted what he did, he was proud to trump the Word of God, even though he knew it was not in the manuscripts (Greek) – it was nothing short of arrogant, rewriting what Paul had been given from the HOLY Spirit, to pen, so that we might understand.

    You nor Luther have fooled those who have studied the Scriptures.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “This doesn’t apply just to Martin Luther but every single person who is a Believer in Christ Jesus as the Savior, who died and resurrected from the grave.”

    Yeah, that is right. That is why church’s have confessions and creeds so that people can freely choose to agree on the meaning of the Scripture. LCMS pastors freely agree to the Lutheran Confessions. It is also why Lutherans do not say that members of other Christian churches are outside of grace because we are not the judge of that. God is. However, for the sake of honesty, clarity and unity, we freely agree with the Confessions. I don’t know if your church uses the Nicene creed, but it states clearly what Christians freely believe.

    http://bookofconcord.org/creeds.php#nicene

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “This doesn’t apply just to Martin Luther but every single person who is a Believer in Christ Jesus as the Savior, who died and resurrected from the grave.”

    Yeah, that is right. That is why church’s have confessions and creeds so that people can freely choose to agree on the meaning of the Scripture. LCMS pastors freely agree to the Lutheran Confessions. It is also why Lutherans do not say that members of other Christian churches are outside of grace because we are not the judge of that. God is. However, for the sake of honesty, clarity and unity, we freely agree with the Confessions. I don’t know if your church uses the Nicene creed, but it states clearly what Christians freely believe.

    http://bookofconcord.org/creeds.php#nicene

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @52

    Luther was only a man. He really wanted people to read the Bible and was doing the best he could laboring under the same sinful nature we all do. My point was just that translation is not that straightforward. You do have to add and delete words, and yeah, it is a judgement call. Luther added “allein” to the German version. It was a judgement call that he thought was appropriate to communicate the meaning in German. Luther did not add “alone” to the English version. If you look at that verse in various English translations, the word order is different from the German, so you don’t need the word alone to get the meaning. Translators are limited by the structure of language as to how to render meaning from the original to the target language.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @52

    Luther was only a man. He really wanted people to read the Bible and was doing the best he could laboring under the same sinful nature we all do. My point was just that translation is not that straightforward. You do have to add and delete words, and yeah, it is a judgement call. Luther added “allein” to the German version. It was a judgement call that he thought was appropriate to communicate the meaning in German. Luther did not add “alone” to the English version. If you look at that verse in various English translations, the word order is different from the German, so you don’t need the word alone to get the meaning. Translators are limited by the structure of language as to how to render meaning from the original to the target language.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “When did the Pope’s become “faithful to Scripture” name the Pope ”

    Peter.

    Anyway, I am not an expert on all the Popes/Bishops of Rome. Probably plenty were good men and scholars faithful to the Scriptures, after all they are the ones who selected the texts to be included and excluded. I mean, the Church literally created the scriptures. They weren’t written down by Christ. So as Christians, we accept that the early Bishops of the church were guided by the Holy Spirit at least at that point else we would have any scriptures to rely on and point to.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “When did the Pope’s become “faithful to Scripture” name the Pope ”

    Peter.

    Anyway, I am not an expert on all the Popes/Bishops of Rome. Probably plenty were good men and scholars faithful to the Scriptures, after all they are the ones who selected the texts to be included and excluded. I mean, the Church literally created the scriptures. They weren’t written down by Christ. So as Christians, we accept that the early Bishops of the church were guided by the Holy Spirit at least at that point else we would have any scriptures to rely on and point to.

  • Grace

    sg @ 55

    ““When did the Pope’s become “faithful to Scripture” name the Pope ”

    Peter.

    Peter was never a Pope, nor did Christ call him a pope. That’s the Roman call from the RC and the Lutherans, and a few others who follow the Roman “tradition” – but stay close to the ways of the Roman Church.

    “Anyway, I am not an expert on all the Popes/Bishops of Rome. Probably plenty were good men and scholars faithful to the Scriptures, after all they are the ones who selected the texts to be included and excluded. I mean, the Church literally created the scriptures. They weren’t written down by Christ.

    sg, you’ve gone over the cliff on this one.

    Either you are ignorant of Scripture, and God’s Word – but most of all the HOLY Spirit who has given the Word to the Apostles to pen the Scriptures. OR, you have purposely made a mockery of God’s Word.

    1. The church did NOT as you say “he Church literally created the scriptures.”

    The Apostles and those who penned the Scriptures were directed by the HOLY Spirit. Is this so difficult for you to comprehend?
    The Roman Church created their “traditions” which were NOT in the Greek manuscripts, they were concocted by the Popes as they believed they had control over the church.

    2. You stated: They weren’t written down by Christ.

    The Apostles were FIRST HAND OBSERVERS of Christ and HIS ministry, they were directed by the HOLY GHOST.

    But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
    John 14:26

    “So as Christians, we accept that the early Bishops of the church were guided by the Holy Spirit at least at that point else we would have any scriptures to rely on and point to.

    WRONG:

    They had the Scriptures. There is more than 6,ooo manuscripts of the book in the New Testament.

    The New Testament was written in Greek – we don’t have the original documents, but we do have almost six thousand copies of the Greek manuscripts that were copied close to the originals in time. The interesting and MOST important part of these copies agree with each other and its almost one hundred percent (100%) accurate. The NT is just over being 99.5% pure textually —- taking it another step further there is about 1/2 of maybe 1% of all the manuscripts that don’t agree 100%. Most of the so called inaccuracies are nothing more than spelling errors, which in themselves are minor. It’s been pointed out many times that the errors are those which are, instead of the copy saying Jesus, instead says Jesus Christ. The documents have been proven to be accurate as that of the original manuscripts/documents – The Bible we have is the inerrant inspired Word of God.

    When the Bible is translated they don’t translate from one translation to another – they translate from the original language into our language – the translation is made from the original to whichever language the Bible is being translated, in other words it’s not done from Greek to English to French, to German – each translations is from the Greek manuscripts to whichever language the Bible will be translated into. The accuracy of the translations are trustworthy.

    When one realizes how miraculous the Old Testament is, and the findings of the ‘Dead Sea Scrolls, one begins to understand the POWER of GOD to keep HIS Word pure. Nothing has changed, it is what HE wants it to be.

    God did not send His Son to die for our sin, and then allow His Word to go adrift. Then again, look at the ‘Dead Sea Scrolls’ how HE proves the power of HIS Hand on the Word. Read the Old Testament and prophecy and its coming to fruition in the New Testament regarding the birth and death of the LORD Jesus Christ. It’s a fit, there isn’t a piece out of place. That’s the miracle, that’s what HE gave us so that we might know the TRUTH.

  • Grace

    sg @ 55

    ““When did the Pope’s become “faithful to Scripture” name the Pope ”

    Peter.

    Peter was never a Pope, nor did Christ call him a pope. That’s the Roman call from the RC and the Lutherans, and a few others who follow the Roman “tradition” – but stay close to the ways of the Roman Church.

    “Anyway, I am not an expert on all the Popes/Bishops of Rome. Probably plenty were good men and scholars faithful to the Scriptures, after all they are the ones who selected the texts to be included and excluded. I mean, the Church literally created the scriptures. They weren’t written down by Christ.

    sg, you’ve gone over the cliff on this one.

    Either you are ignorant of Scripture, and God’s Word – but most of all the HOLY Spirit who has given the Word to the Apostles to pen the Scriptures. OR, you have purposely made a mockery of God’s Word.

    1. The church did NOT as you say “he Church literally created the scriptures.”

    The Apostles and those who penned the Scriptures were directed by the HOLY Spirit. Is this so difficult for you to comprehend?
    The Roman Church created their “traditions” which were NOT in the Greek manuscripts, they were concocted by the Popes as they believed they had control over the church.

    2. You stated: They weren’t written down by Christ.

    The Apostles were FIRST HAND OBSERVERS of Christ and HIS ministry, they were directed by the HOLY GHOST.

    But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
    John 14:26

    “So as Christians, we accept that the early Bishops of the church were guided by the Holy Spirit at least at that point else we would have any scriptures to rely on and point to.

    WRONG:

    They had the Scriptures. There is more than 6,ooo manuscripts of the book in the New Testament.

    The New Testament was written in Greek – we don’t have the original documents, but we do have almost six thousand copies of the Greek manuscripts that were copied close to the originals in time. The interesting and MOST important part of these copies agree with each other and its almost one hundred percent (100%) accurate. The NT is just over being 99.5% pure textually —- taking it another step further there is about 1/2 of maybe 1% of all the manuscripts that don’t agree 100%. Most of the so called inaccuracies are nothing more than spelling errors, which in themselves are minor. It’s been pointed out many times that the errors are those which are, instead of the copy saying Jesus, instead says Jesus Christ. The documents have been proven to be accurate as that of the original manuscripts/documents – The Bible we have is the inerrant inspired Word of God.

    When the Bible is translated they don’t translate from one translation to another – they translate from the original language into our language – the translation is made from the original to whichever language the Bible is being translated, in other words it’s not done from Greek to English to French, to German – each translations is from the Greek manuscripts to whichever language the Bible will be translated into. The accuracy of the translations are trustworthy.

    When one realizes how miraculous the Old Testament is, and the findings of the ‘Dead Sea Scrolls, one begins to understand the POWER of GOD to keep HIS Word pure. Nothing has changed, it is what HE wants it to be.

    God did not send His Son to die for our sin, and then allow His Word to go adrift. Then again, look at the ‘Dead Sea Scrolls’ how HE proves the power of HIS Hand on the Word. Read the Old Testament and prophecy and its coming to fruition in the New Testament regarding the birth and death of the LORD Jesus Christ. It’s a fit, there isn’t a piece out of place. That’s the miracle, that’s what HE gave us so that we might know the TRUTH.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “They had the Scriptures. There is more than 6,ooo manuscripts of the book in the New Testament.”

    They had a whole lot of stuff. Much of which didn’t make the cut. The Apostles wrote what they wrote but did not establish the canon. The church fathers judged what would and would not be in the Bible. Now, was that just human wisdom? Also, would you consider the Apostles part of the church? I would say yes.

    I don’t see how Peter was not a pope, aka a church father, in his capacity as Bishop of Rome. Why don’t you consider him to be a pope? Also, what about the other Orthodox patriarchs? I understand they haven’t exercised as much license as the popes of Rome and have managed to stay in close agreement for 2000 years with all the others except the bishops of Rome, but what is the material difference between patriarch (church father) and pope (church father)? Why shouldn’t they, their scholarship and opinions be esteemed in so far as they do not contradict Scripture? I certainly wouldn’t put my own interpretations or understanding above theirs unless I had extremely good bases which in general, I don’t. I agree with the reformation principle that the church or church fathers can’t trump Scripture. However, scholars like Ratzinger and the other patriarchs don’t suffer from the same disadvantages that I do when I study the Bible because of their extensive backgrounds. I don’t see why we should just assume all popes were bad. There are some that were wrong on a few specific points and unfortunately stubbornly held to them. Luther addressed those points as did others.

    When the Bible is translated they don’t translate from one translation to another – they translate from the original language into our language – the translation is made from the original to whichever language the Bible is being translated, in other words it’s not done from Greek to English to French, to German – each translations is from the Greek manuscripts to whichever language the Bible will be translated into.

    Yes, that is right. I gave an example using German and English just as an illustration of structural differences. I can’t use Greek as an illustration because I don’t know Greek.

    The accuracy of the translations are trustworthy.

    Okay, but why? Isn’t it because we trust the translators? I mean what is your opinion of the Good News Bible or the New NIV? Some don’t like the Good News version because it is a paraphrase. Others don’t like the New NIV because of the “gender neutral” stuff. I mean I trust St. Jerome, John Wycliffe or Martin Luther over these modern politically correct translators. Or is something going to keep the PC corruptionists from undermining the scriptures as they attempt to improve on God’s Word?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “They had the Scriptures. There is more than 6,ooo manuscripts of the book in the New Testament.”

    They had a whole lot of stuff. Much of which didn’t make the cut. The Apostles wrote what they wrote but did not establish the canon. The church fathers judged what would and would not be in the Bible. Now, was that just human wisdom? Also, would you consider the Apostles part of the church? I would say yes.

    I don’t see how Peter was not a pope, aka a church father, in his capacity as Bishop of Rome. Why don’t you consider him to be a pope? Also, what about the other Orthodox patriarchs? I understand they haven’t exercised as much license as the popes of Rome and have managed to stay in close agreement for 2000 years with all the others except the bishops of Rome, but what is the material difference between patriarch (church father) and pope (church father)? Why shouldn’t they, their scholarship and opinions be esteemed in so far as they do not contradict Scripture? I certainly wouldn’t put my own interpretations or understanding above theirs unless I had extremely good bases which in general, I don’t. I agree with the reformation principle that the church or church fathers can’t trump Scripture. However, scholars like Ratzinger and the other patriarchs don’t suffer from the same disadvantages that I do when I study the Bible because of their extensive backgrounds. I don’t see why we should just assume all popes were bad. There are some that were wrong on a few specific points and unfortunately stubbornly held to them. Luther addressed those points as did others.

    When the Bible is translated they don’t translate from one translation to another – they translate from the original language into our language – the translation is made from the original to whichever language the Bible is being translated, in other words it’s not done from Greek to English to French, to German – each translations is from the Greek manuscripts to whichever language the Bible will be translated into.

    Yes, that is right. I gave an example using German and English just as an illustration of structural differences. I can’t use Greek as an illustration because I don’t know Greek.

    The accuracy of the translations are trustworthy.

    Okay, but why? Isn’t it because we trust the translators? I mean what is your opinion of the Good News Bible or the New NIV? Some don’t like the Good News version because it is a paraphrase. Others don’t like the New NIV because of the “gender neutral” stuff. I mean I trust St. Jerome, John Wycliffe or Martin Luther over these modern politically correct translators. Or is something going to keep the PC corruptionists from undermining the scriptures as they attempt to improve on God’s Word?

  • helen

    Some of the translations are more “trustworthy” than others.

    Some, such as NIV have to be read with the reform bias of the translators in mind,
    and in the case of NIV2011, with the bias of “gender neutrality” gone wild to the point of inaccuracy.

  • helen

    Some of the translations are more “trustworthy” than others.

    Some, such as NIV have to be read with the reform bias of the translators in mind,
    and in the case of NIV2011, with the bias of “gender neutrality” gone wild to the point of inaccuracy.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “When one realizes how miraculous the Old Testament is, and the findings of the ‘Dead Sea Scrolls, one begins to understand the POWER of GOD to keep HIS Word pure. Nothing has changed, it is what HE wants it to be.”

    Okay, but it came to us unchanged because monks in the Catholic church copied it diligently for over a thousand years. Ordinary flawed men, Jewish men, Roman Catholic men preserved it. Do you think the Holy Spirit was at work there through those Jews and Catholics?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “When one realizes how miraculous the Old Testament is, and the findings of the ‘Dead Sea Scrolls, one begins to understand the POWER of GOD to keep HIS Word pure. Nothing has changed, it is what HE wants it to be.”

    Okay, but it came to us unchanged because monks in the Catholic church copied it diligently for over a thousand years. Ordinary flawed men, Jewish men, Roman Catholic men preserved it. Do you think the Holy Spirit was at work there through those Jews and Catholics?

  • Michael B.

    @Helen

    “in the case of NIV2011, with the bias of “gender neutrality” gone wild to the point of inaccuracy.”

    Using sex-neutral pronouns is not about being feminist; it’s about creating an accurate translation. Years ago “man” was a synonym for “people”, but today this is no longer true. If a pastor were to ask every man to stand, I doubt the females would also stand up. If the English language changes, the language of the Bible must change also, or otherwise you have a wrong translation.

    Having said this, attempting to create an accurate translation is a far cry from removing objectionable material. For example, the Bible says that women should not speak in a church. If you remove this on account of it being sexist, you’ve altered what the original author wanted to say. You’d be in a sense creating your own bible.

  • Michael B.

    @Helen

    “in the case of NIV2011, with the bias of “gender neutrality” gone wild to the point of inaccuracy.”

    Using sex-neutral pronouns is not about being feminist; it’s about creating an accurate translation. Years ago “man” was a synonym for “people”, but today this is no longer true. If a pastor were to ask every man to stand, I doubt the females would also stand up. If the English language changes, the language of the Bible must change also, or otherwise you have a wrong translation.

    Having said this, attempting to create an accurate translation is a far cry from removing objectionable material. For example, the Bible says that women should not speak in a church. If you remove this on account of it being sexist, you’ve altered what the original author wanted to say. You’d be in a sense creating your own bible.

  • Grace

    The authenticity of the New Testament manuscripts is the inspiration of God penned through the Apostles. The Roman Catholic Church isn’t part of the equation, although they would like everyone to believe they are.

    Christian Believers understand that God through inspiration of HIS Word, to the Apostles to be perfect. The Roman Catholics claim they are the source of God’s Word, they are placing themselves above God’s Word. The Apostles died in many different parts of the world, they were not all gathered together in one place. The manuscripts which they penned through the guidance of the HOLY Spirit were not a group effort in one place. In essence, Rome had nothing to do with the manuscripts in the very beginning.

    The center of the Christian world was in Jerusalem, it was the Jews who believed first. All the Apostles were Jews.

    There is no proof that Paul died in Rome or in Italy for that matter, the Bible doesn’t tell us. This again is “tradition” –

    Paul was the Apostle to the Gentiles, Peter was the Apostle to the Jews. Think about it!

    The LORD God Almighty gave us the Scriptures, the Roman Catholic Church did not give us the Bible as they claim. What the RCC claims is “traditions” which are not in the Bible, but man made, it isn’t in Scripture.

    “Thus there is a mediation: Mary places herself between her Son and mankind in the reality of their wants, needs and sufferings. She puts herself “in the middle,” that is to say she acts as a mediatrix not as an outsider, but in her position as mother. She knows that as such she can point out to her Son the needs of mankind, and in fact, she “has the right” to do so. Her mediation is thus in the nature of intercession: Mary “intercedes” for mankind.
    Pope John Paul II, in Redemptoris Mater (On the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Life of the Pilgrim Church), Encyclical promulgated on March 25, 1987

    Reading the above, taken from Pope Paul 11, (1987) knowing that it is false, and does not appear in Scripture, nor did Christ ever put Mary in such a place – one can see clearly the “traditions” the Roman Catholic Church foist upon their congregants, without any Scriptural evidence.

  • Grace

    The authenticity of the New Testament manuscripts is the inspiration of God penned through the Apostles. The Roman Catholic Church isn’t part of the equation, although they would like everyone to believe they are.

    Christian Believers understand that God through inspiration of HIS Word, to the Apostles to be perfect. The Roman Catholics claim they are the source of God’s Word, they are placing themselves above God’s Word. The Apostles died in many different parts of the world, they were not all gathered together in one place. The manuscripts which they penned through the guidance of the HOLY Spirit were not a group effort in one place. In essence, Rome had nothing to do with the manuscripts in the very beginning.

    The center of the Christian world was in Jerusalem, it was the Jews who believed first. All the Apostles were Jews.

    There is no proof that Paul died in Rome or in Italy for that matter, the Bible doesn’t tell us. This again is “tradition” –

    Paul was the Apostle to the Gentiles, Peter was the Apostle to the Jews. Think about it!

    The LORD God Almighty gave us the Scriptures, the Roman Catholic Church did not give us the Bible as they claim. What the RCC claims is “traditions” which are not in the Bible, but man made, it isn’t in Scripture.

    “Thus there is a mediation: Mary places herself between her Son and mankind in the reality of their wants, needs and sufferings. She puts herself “in the middle,” that is to say she acts as a mediatrix not as an outsider, but in her position as mother. She knows that as such she can point out to her Son the needs of mankind, and in fact, she “has the right” to do so. Her mediation is thus in the nature of intercession: Mary “intercedes” for mankind.
    Pope John Paul II, in Redemptoris Mater (On the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Life of the Pilgrim Church), Encyclical promulgated on March 25, 1987

    Reading the above, taken from Pope Paul 11, (1987) knowing that it is false, and does not appear in Scripture, nor did Christ ever put Mary in such a place – one can see clearly the “traditions” the Roman Catholic Church foist upon their congregants, without any Scriptural evidence.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “The authenticity of the New Testament manuscripts is the inspiration of God penned through the Apostles.”

    Yes, but a lot of time has passed since then and someone had to recopy and preserve those writings. Plenty of other stuff has been lost or deliberately excluded from the Bible.

    “The Roman Catholic Church isn’t part of the equation, although they would like everyone to believe they are.”

    How do you figure that? It was all one church with bishops as leaders of the church in their respective territories including Rome. The council of all the bishops selected what to include and exclude from the Bible. I agree they didn’t write it, but they did establish what it would and would not contain. Even after the Roman church split off in 1054, they continued to preserve the canon as did the eastern churches. What do you think their role was with regard to the Bible and its contents? Why do you say they had nothing to do with it? Clearly they had something to do with it even if it was simply to faithfully recopy it over and over.

    If Mary were still here, do you think she would pray for us? My friends pray for me and for others even those they don’t know. I pray for people. So, the question is first whether the saints in heaven, including Mary, are praying for us. Many, including Roman Catholics say yes. Then second, are the saints in heaven aware of our prayers now? This seems unclear, so we can’t say for sure that they do, so we can’t recommend that folks ask the saints in heaven to pray for us. What I wonder is how soon praying to the saints began. It is noted at least as early as the 300′s. Some say it goes back to the first Christians and is referred to in Revelation. It is hard for me to tell what anything in Revelation means, so when people tell me that something is in Revelation, I just kind of tune out. Anyway, I can see how people would continue such a long standing tradition. It seems reasonable. I don’t come from that background, so it seems a bit foreign to me.

    Also, why do you think Paul is not buried in Rome? The coffin is there. What kind of proof are you expecting? It is not like that kind of information would really need to be included in the Bible, would it? Just because the Roman church was wrong on some issues doesn’t mean they are lying about stuff like where Paul is buried. Why would they lie? To what end? How would such a lie get started?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “The authenticity of the New Testament manuscripts is the inspiration of God penned through the Apostles.”

    Yes, but a lot of time has passed since then and someone had to recopy and preserve those writings. Plenty of other stuff has been lost or deliberately excluded from the Bible.

    “The Roman Catholic Church isn’t part of the equation, although they would like everyone to believe they are.”

    How do you figure that? It was all one church with bishops as leaders of the church in their respective territories including Rome. The council of all the bishops selected what to include and exclude from the Bible. I agree they didn’t write it, but they did establish what it would and would not contain. Even after the Roman church split off in 1054, they continued to preserve the canon as did the eastern churches. What do you think their role was with regard to the Bible and its contents? Why do you say they had nothing to do with it? Clearly they had something to do with it even if it was simply to faithfully recopy it over and over.

    If Mary were still here, do you think she would pray for us? My friends pray for me and for others even those they don’t know. I pray for people. So, the question is first whether the saints in heaven, including Mary, are praying for us. Many, including Roman Catholics say yes. Then second, are the saints in heaven aware of our prayers now? This seems unclear, so we can’t say for sure that they do, so we can’t recommend that folks ask the saints in heaven to pray for us. What I wonder is how soon praying to the saints began. It is noted at least as early as the 300′s. Some say it goes back to the first Christians and is referred to in Revelation. It is hard for me to tell what anything in Revelation means, so when people tell me that something is in Revelation, I just kind of tune out. Anyway, I can see how people would continue such a long standing tradition. It seems reasonable. I don’t come from that background, so it seems a bit foreign to me.

    Also, why do you think Paul is not buried in Rome? The coffin is there. What kind of proof are you expecting? It is not like that kind of information would really need to be included in the Bible, would it? Just because the Roman church was wrong on some issues doesn’t mean they are lying about stuff like where Paul is buried. Why would they lie? To what end? How would such a lie get started?

  • Grace

    “If Mary were still here, do you think she would pray for us?

    The point is, Mary is not here, she does not intercede for us, she is dead. ONLY the LORD Jesus is the mediator between man and HIMSELF:

    For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
    1 Timothy 2:5

    “My friends pray for me and for others even those they don’t know. I pray for people. So, the question is first whether the saints in heaven, including Mary, are praying for us.

    For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
    1 Timothy 2:5

    ” Many, including Roman Catholics say yes. Then second, are the saints in heaven aware of our prayers now? This seems unclear, so we can’t say for sure that they do, so we can’t recommend that folks ask the saints in heaven to pray for us. What I wonder is how soon praying to the saints began. It is noted at least as early as the 300′s. Some say it goes back to the first Christians and is referred to in Revelation. It is hard for me to tell what anything in Revelation means, so when people tell me that something is in Revelation, I just kind of tune out. Anyway, I can see how people would continue such a long standing tradition. It seems reasonable. I don’t come from that background, so it seems a bit foreign to me.”

    sg, there is not one portion of Scripture that asks us to pray to the dead, OR that they are capable of interceding on our behalf. Christ is the MEDIATOR, no one else. Christ is the the only answer, HE is the one who can hear our prayers, why choose a dead relative or friend?

    “Also, why do you think Paul is not buried in Rome? The coffin is there. What kind of proof are you expecting? It is not like that kind of information would really need to be included in the Bible, would it? Just because the Roman church was wrong on some issues doesn’t mean they are lying about stuff like where Paul is buried. Why would they lie? To what end? How would such a lie get started?

    There is no place in Scripture that states Paul was in Rome, nor does it say he was killed in Rome, or that he was buried in Rome. This all stems from “tradition” – it isn’t in the Bible.

    As I stated earlier:

    “Thus there is a mediation: Mary places herself between her Son and mankind in the reality of their wants, needs and sufferings. She puts herself “in the middle,” that is to say she acts as a mediatrix not as an outsider, but in her position as mother. She knows that as such she can point out to her Son the needs of mankind, and in fact, she “has the right” to do so. Her mediation is thus in the nature of intercession: Mary “intercedes” for mankind.”
    Pope John Paul II, in Redemptoris Mater (On the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Life of the Pilgrim Church), Encyclical promulgated on March 25, 1987

    Where does it state in the Word of God that “Mary places herself between her Son and mankind” – this is false!

    Mary, “full of grace”, we entrust the next “World Youth Day” to you!

    Mary, assumed into Heaven, we entrust the young people of the world to you!

    8th WORLD YOUTH DAY

    JOHN PAUL II

    ANGELUS

    Cherry Creek State Park, Denver
    Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
    Sunday, 15 August 1993

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/angelus/1993/documents/hf_jp-ii_ang_19930815_en.html

    I urge all of you to read the entire piece, linked above.

  • Grace

    “If Mary were still here, do you think she would pray for us?

    The point is, Mary is not here, she does not intercede for us, she is dead. ONLY the LORD Jesus is the mediator between man and HIMSELF:

    For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
    1 Timothy 2:5

    “My friends pray for me and for others even those they don’t know. I pray for people. So, the question is first whether the saints in heaven, including Mary, are praying for us.

    For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
    1 Timothy 2:5

    ” Many, including Roman Catholics say yes. Then second, are the saints in heaven aware of our prayers now? This seems unclear, so we can’t say for sure that they do, so we can’t recommend that folks ask the saints in heaven to pray for us. What I wonder is how soon praying to the saints began. It is noted at least as early as the 300′s. Some say it goes back to the first Christians and is referred to in Revelation. It is hard for me to tell what anything in Revelation means, so when people tell me that something is in Revelation, I just kind of tune out. Anyway, I can see how people would continue such a long standing tradition. It seems reasonable. I don’t come from that background, so it seems a bit foreign to me.”

    sg, there is not one portion of Scripture that asks us to pray to the dead, OR that they are capable of interceding on our behalf. Christ is the MEDIATOR, no one else. Christ is the the only answer, HE is the one who can hear our prayers, why choose a dead relative or friend?

    “Also, why do you think Paul is not buried in Rome? The coffin is there. What kind of proof are you expecting? It is not like that kind of information would really need to be included in the Bible, would it? Just because the Roman church was wrong on some issues doesn’t mean they are lying about stuff like where Paul is buried. Why would they lie? To what end? How would such a lie get started?

    There is no place in Scripture that states Paul was in Rome, nor does it say he was killed in Rome, or that he was buried in Rome. This all stems from “tradition” – it isn’t in the Bible.

    As I stated earlier:

    “Thus there is a mediation: Mary places herself between her Son and mankind in the reality of their wants, needs and sufferings. She puts herself “in the middle,” that is to say she acts as a mediatrix not as an outsider, but in her position as mother. She knows that as such she can point out to her Son the needs of mankind, and in fact, she “has the right” to do so. Her mediation is thus in the nature of intercession: Mary “intercedes” for mankind.”
    Pope John Paul II, in Redemptoris Mater (On the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Life of the Pilgrim Church), Encyclical promulgated on March 25, 1987

    Where does it state in the Word of God that “Mary places herself between her Son and mankind” – this is false!

    Mary, “full of grace”, we entrust the next “World Youth Day” to you!

    Mary, assumed into Heaven, we entrust the young people of the world to you!

    8th WORLD YOUTH DAY

    JOHN PAUL II

    ANGELUS

    Cherry Creek State Park, Denver
    Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
    Sunday, 15 August 1993

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/angelus/1993/documents/hf_jp-ii_ang_19930815_en.html

    I urge all of you to read the entire piece, linked above.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “There is no place in Scripture that states Paul was in Rome, nor does it say he was killed in Rome, or that he was buried in Rome. This all stems from “tradition” – it isn’t in the Bible.”

    What about Acts 28?

    http://www.esvbible.org/Acts+28/

    11 After three months we set sail in a ship that had wintered in the island, a ship of Alexandria, with the twin gods as a figurehead. 12 Putting in at Syracuse, we stayed there for three days. 13 And from there we made a circuit and arrived at Rhegium. And after one day a south wind sprang up, and on the second day we came to Puteoli. 14 There we found brothers5 and were invited to stay with them for seven days. And so we came to Rome. 15 And the brothers there, when they heard about us, came as far as the Forum of Appius and Three Taverns to meet us. On seeing them, Paul thanked God and took courage. 16 And when we came into Rome, Paul was allowed to stay by himself, with the soldier who guarded him.

    Also, why do you think the traditions of the church are so suspect? The fact that the church fathers did not choose to add in a lot of extra information with the inspired writings actually speaks to their integrity. Just because the traditions of the church aren’t in the Bible doesn’t make them false or inventions. When practices are as old as anyone can remember, then it seems great care should be exercised before discarding them.

    It seems the saints in heaven can pray for us even if they can’t hear us or join in a specific prayer with us. And why are our friends here better at praying for us than those who have entered eternal life like Mary the mother of Jesus?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “There is no place in Scripture that states Paul was in Rome, nor does it say he was killed in Rome, or that he was buried in Rome. This all stems from “tradition” – it isn’t in the Bible.”

    What about Acts 28?

    http://www.esvbible.org/Acts+28/

    11 After three months we set sail in a ship that had wintered in the island, a ship of Alexandria, with the twin gods as a figurehead. 12 Putting in at Syracuse, we stayed there for three days. 13 And from there we made a circuit and arrived at Rhegium. And after one day a south wind sprang up, and on the second day we came to Puteoli. 14 There we found brothers5 and were invited to stay with them for seven days. And so we came to Rome. 15 And the brothers there, when they heard about us, came as far as the Forum of Appius and Three Taverns to meet us. On seeing them, Paul thanked God and took courage. 16 And when we came into Rome, Paul was allowed to stay by himself, with the soldier who guarded him.

    Also, why do you think the traditions of the church are so suspect? The fact that the church fathers did not choose to add in a lot of extra information with the inspired writings actually speaks to their integrity. Just because the traditions of the church aren’t in the Bible doesn’t make them false or inventions. When practices are as old as anyone can remember, then it seems great care should be exercised before discarding them.

    It seems the saints in heaven can pray for us even if they can’t hear us or join in a specific prayer with us. And why are our friends here better at praying for us than those who have entered eternal life like Mary the mother of Jesus?

  • helen

    Michael B @ 60
    Years ago “man” was a synonym for “people”, but today this is no longer true.

    It still is, in context. However, I’ll give you the clear references to Man= men, women and children.

    How about avoiding masculine terms for GOD?

  • helen

    Michael B @ 60
    Years ago “man” was a synonym for “people”, but today this is no longer true.

    It still is, in context. However, I’ll give you the clear references to Man= men, women and children.

    How about avoiding masculine terms for GOD?

  • Joanne

    I was a none for at least 10 years, the first half of which I was a bald-faced athiest. The dry, white sky of atheism. Not spiritualist either. Nothing but what my own senses sensed and I didn’t believe anything, not even atheism or n0n-spiritualism. I was simply own my own, intellectually, mentally. I did not pray, I did not attend a church. When asked I simply said, I don’t believe, usually to people who wanted to believe that I did.
    Then I became a none who attended a church; I joined the choir at St. Sophia’s GO cathedral. I had always been curious about the modern Greeks since I had studied so much about the ancient Greeks, and medieval Greeks. I’d often been in church choirs, and the words in the music had been phonetically spelled out as they sounded in latin letters. I had learned several ways to pronounce ancient Greek, but modern Greek is somewhat different, so I needed those phonic helps more than I realized I would.
    For an unbelieving none, the fact that the whole service was in medieval Greek which even the modern Greeks don’t understand, sorta like we don’t understand untranslated Chaucer. However, the sermons were in English and sometimes modern Greek and the modern pronounciations were used.
    However, although I was in church every Sunday and special day, I understood bits and pieces of it, but I never made any move to join the church.
    You see, during my pure atheist days, I was in a severe car crash in which all involved thought I would die, but I didn’t die. And I know now that the Hound of Heaven wouldn’t let me die with no faith. I lived and then some years later he drew me to this GO church which was just as much religion as I could stand at the time. Everthing about modern Greeks, the GO liturgie, the festivals, fascinated me intellectually. Even the sermons were so simple and so short, if there was one. Sometime, the presveteros would simply read one of Chrisostom’s sermons. It was customary on certain holy days.
    Slowly, slowly I began to pray again. An ancient widow in the parish took me under her arm and began to teach me what to do, especially how I should use visible force when I mashed my 3 fingers together when I crossed myself. Several time she’d say, you’re not pressing your 3 fingers together hard enough! But even she was mostly ignorant; her most frequent exhortation when I asked why we did such and such was, “Just do it.” I can’t tell you how many laity said that to me when I was truly lost in the rite, “Just do it.” I learned GO from the laity in the pews and from the choir’s view of the ligurgy. I have so many wonderful stories from those days, the Greeks are a hoot as surely we all know now by their “spiritual” approach to financial and governmental things.
    But the time came when the family needed us to move home. There were 3 grade school latch-key kids home alone in the afternoons. We came home, bought the house next door and became the Grandmother and old maid aunt living next door and keeping the children till their parents camd home.
    I attended the GO cathedral in New Orleans many times, but slowly because it was so far away, I slipped back into an athiest none, until one day an old family friend asked my mother to go to a new Lutheran church that they liked. So, before I know it, in like 3 months, I was not a none anymore and haven’t been since. It was the 1941 liturgy and law and gospel sermons. We slipped into the old shoe and it felt sooo good. (We had heard rumors that our old Lutheran church had removed the pews and put in coctail tables and a rockin’ band, which my brother said was a fab experience, but he only went a few times, being a none long before I was.
    So that’s my personal experience with this none business.

  • Joanne

    I was a none for at least 10 years, the first half of which I was a bald-faced athiest. The dry, white sky of atheism. Not spiritualist either. Nothing but what my own senses sensed and I didn’t believe anything, not even atheism or n0n-spiritualism. I was simply own my own, intellectually, mentally. I did not pray, I did not attend a church. When asked I simply said, I don’t believe, usually to people who wanted to believe that I did.
    Then I became a none who attended a church; I joined the choir at St. Sophia’s GO cathedral. I had always been curious about the modern Greeks since I had studied so much about the ancient Greeks, and medieval Greeks. I’d often been in church choirs, and the words in the music had been phonetically spelled out as they sounded in latin letters. I had learned several ways to pronounce ancient Greek, but modern Greek is somewhat different, so I needed those phonic helps more than I realized I would.
    For an unbelieving none, the fact that the whole service was in medieval Greek which even the modern Greeks don’t understand, sorta like we don’t understand untranslated Chaucer. However, the sermons were in English and sometimes modern Greek and the modern pronounciations were used.
    However, although I was in church every Sunday and special day, I understood bits and pieces of it, but I never made any move to join the church.
    You see, during my pure atheist days, I was in a severe car crash in which all involved thought I would die, but I didn’t die. And I know now that the Hound of Heaven wouldn’t let me die with no faith. I lived and then some years later he drew me to this GO church which was just as much religion as I could stand at the time. Everthing about modern Greeks, the GO liturgie, the festivals, fascinated me intellectually. Even the sermons were so simple and so short, if there was one. Sometime, the presveteros would simply read one of Chrisostom’s sermons. It was customary on certain holy days.
    Slowly, slowly I began to pray again. An ancient widow in the parish took me under her arm and began to teach me what to do, especially how I should use visible force when I mashed my 3 fingers together when I crossed myself. Several time she’d say, you’re not pressing your 3 fingers together hard enough! But even she was mostly ignorant; her most frequent exhortation when I asked why we did such and such was, “Just do it.” I can’t tell you how many laity said that to me when I was truly lost in the rite, “Just do it.” I learned GO from the laity in the pews and from the choir’s view of the ligurgy. I have so many wonderful stories from those days, the Greeks are a hoot as surely we all know now by their “spiritual” approach to financial and governmental things.
    But the time came when the family needed us to move home. There were 3 grade school latch-key kids home alone in the afternoons. We came home, bought the house next door and became the Grandmother and old maid aunt living next door and keeping the children till their parents camd home.
    I attended the GO cathedral in New Orleans many times, but slowly because it was so far away, I slipped back into an athiest none, until one day an old family friend asked my mother to go to a new Lutheran church that they liked. So, before I know it, in like 3 months, I was not a none anymore and haven’t been since. It was the 1941 liturgy and law and gospel sermons. We slipped into the old shoe and it felt sooo good. (We had heard rumors that our old Lutheran church had removed the pews and put in coctail tables and a rockin’ band, which my brother said was a fab experience, but he only went a few times, being a none long before I was.
    So that’s my personal experience with this none business.

  • Grace

    sg

    My post at 63 should have stated Peter, NOT Paul.

    “There is no place in Scripture that states Peter was in Rome, nor does it say he was killed in Rome, or that he was buried in Rome. This all stems from “tradition” – it isn’t in the Bible.”

  • Grace

    sg

    My post at 63 should have stated Peter, NOT Paul.

    “There is no place in Scripture that states Peter was in Rome, nor does it say he was killed in Rome, or that he was buried in Rome. This all stems from “tradition” – it isn’t in the Bible.”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@67), do you even know what point you’re arguing anymore?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@67), do you even know what point you’re arguing anymore?

  • Grace

    Helen @ 65

    “How about avoiding masculine terms for GOD?

    That would be impossible, as God is referred to as God the Father, and Holy Father by HIS Son Jesus.

    Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
    John 5:18

    Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.
    John 6:27

    Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
    Matthew 28:19

    Read John, chapter 17. There you will find Jesus Christ calling God His Father.

    And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. John 17:11

  • Grace

    Helen @ 65

    “How about avoiding masculine terms for GOD?

    That would be impossible, as God is referred to as God the Father, and Holy Father by HIS Son Jesus.

    Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
    John 5:18

    Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.
    John 6:27

    Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
    Matthew 28:19

    Read John, chapter 17. There you will find Jesus Christ calling God His Father.

    And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. John 17:11

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “There is no place in Scripture that states Peter was in Rome, nor does it say he was killed in Rome, or that he was buried in Rome. This all stems from “tradition” – it isn’t in the Bible.”

    Okay, I see.

    Anyway, why do you think that Peter never went to Rome? All the accounts from church history attest to his death in Rome. Why not believe them? I mean we believe other historians from that era when they report where other famous people are buried and other things that happened, etc. I mean we believe Suetonius when he describes the funeral of Julius Caesar, so why can’t we believe those early Christian’s accounts of Peter’s death? It is not like there are some competing accounts that he died elsewhere. Is there any good reason not to believe Peter died in Rome?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “There is no place in Scripture that states Peter was in Rome, nor does it say he was killed in Rome, or that he was buried in Rome. This all stems from “tradition” – it isn’t in the Bible.”

    Okay, I see.

    Anyway, why do you think that Peter never went to Rome? All the accounts from church history attest to his death in Rome. Why not believe them? I mean we believe other historians from that era when they report where other famous people are buried and other things that happened, etc. I mean we believe Suetonius when he describes the funeral of Julius Caesar, so why can’t we believe those early Christian’s accounts of Peter’s death? It is not like there are some competing accounts that he died elsewhere. Is there any good reason not to believe Peter died in Rome?

  • Joanne

    Why would Peter, the Apostle to the Jews, go to Rome? Emperor Claudius had exiled all the Jews from Rome, though it seems they came right back. Some think Paul met Aquilla and Priscilla in Corinth because they had gone there when Claudius made all the Jews leave Rome.
    Peter’s Greek must have been atrocious, the kind that a fisherman might pickup in dealing with wealthy customers or government officials. Any Jews in Rome would have been embarrassed to hear him talk and very few of the Roman Jews would have had a knowledge of Aramaic any better than Peter’s knowledge of Greek. And, all the early Christians, with a few significant exceptions, in Rome were Hellenized Jews and Greeks who had moved there for simple make-a-living reasons, if they were not outright slaves from the Greek speaking world. The liturgy in Rome was spoken in Greek for almost 300 years.
    The Latin Romans were almost immune to Christianity. Rome remained a predominantly Classical/Hellenic city in religion. It reamained so Classical that Constantine in the 300s did not choose it for his new “Christian” capital of the Empire because Rome wasn’t yet a “Christian” city in the way that all the cities of the Eastern Empire were by 350 AD. Even in the early 400s we hear of Augustine describing huge Classical/Hellenic religious processions at the regular Greek and Roman festival rambling all throughout Rome. Even when Alaric, the leader of the Visigoths came to sack Rome In the mid 400s we hear that the Roman Senate brought out the altar to the goddess Victory for heavenly protection.
    Yes, there were Christian overseers in Rome during this whole time, but they were not the powerful political leaders that they were in Constantinople and Alexandria. They lived in the Greek-speaking quarters of Rome and were primarily an immigrant church for centuries. In almost all of the western (Latin) empire, when you dig down for the founders of the Christian communities, they were Greeks or Syrian Greeks who had moved west bring Christianity with them, think Iranaeus.
    Why would Peter go to Rome? He went to Antioch and no one mentions that he couldn’t talk with the Hellenized Jews or the Greeks, he just wouldn’t eat with them. He seems to have come to visit a fully established Christian community, so those who say he founded the church in Antioch are being kind to the memory of Peter in the way a eulogist might. He had that remarkable encounter with the centurian at Joppa, but that was a lot closer to home. They both could have known some of the other’s language.
    The Bible mentions that Peter went to Babylon. There is the famous Babylon in Mesopotamia that was a functioning city during Roman times and had a huge Jewish population. Then there is the less well known Babylon in Egypt and some early traditions that attest to Peter being there for some time. Many referred to Rome as Babylon meaning it was a pagan place full of wicked people, which is very true, and some use this nickname for Rome, apply it to Rome and use this Bible verse to “prove” that Peter went to Rome.
    We know from the Bible why Paul went to Rome, we know how he went to Rome, we know his living conditions while in Rome, we know that even under Roman custody he attempted to evangelize the Brothers in Rome. The last chapter of the Book of Acts is very informative about Paul’s Roman connection. Paul’s letter to the Christian community at Rome is renowned for it’s lay out of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His plan of salvation.
    So, where is Peter when Paul writes his letter to the Roman Christians? Where is Peter when Paul arrives and stays in Rome for about 2 years? There is no greeting to Peter in the Letter to the Romans. There is no recognition of Peter being present in Rome while Paul was there. Where was Peter? Biblically, we cannot connect Peter to Rome (nor James to Compostela, nor Thomas to India).
    The problem is that all the non-Biblical early, very early letters and writings of the Christian community said that Peter was at Rome and was killed there. The Church never expresses doubt that Peter was there, the claims that Peter founded the church in Rome and was martyred there are simply accepted as “God’s honest truth” by all. It’s just always been accepted by the Church and the other Patriarchs even when they had reasons to bad-mouth the Christian Overseers in Rome. The idea that Peter was never at Rome is a modern one, as far as we can tell. Constantine the Great built in the 340s a huge pilgrimage church over the traditional place Peter was buried just outside of Rome in what is called the Vatican now.
    So, what are you going to do? If it wasn’t important to our salvation, it was left out of the Bible, so maybe that’s why the Bible is silent on Peter in Rome, it was a side story we didn’t need. Still, all the early Christians, very early Christians say Peter was there and was killed there.
    So even though Peter had no reason to be there (very few Jews and they only spoke Greek), inexpicably he was there and killed there. Must have got on the wrong boat at Ptolemais one day.

  • Joanne

    Why would Peter, the Apostle to the Jews, go to Rome? Emperor Claudius had exiled all the Jews from Rome, though it seems they came right back. Some think Paul met Aquilla and Priscilla in Corinth because they had gone there when Claudius made all the Jews leave Rome.
    Peter’s Greek must have been atrocious, the kind that a fisherman might pickup in dealing with wealthy customers or government officials. Any Jews in Rome would have been embarrassed to hear him talk and very few of the Roman Jews would have had a knowledge of Aramaic any better than Peter’s knowledge of Greek. And, all the early Christians, with a few significant exceptions, in Rome were Hellenized Jews and Greeks who had moved there for simple make-a-living reasons, if they were not outright slaves from the Greek speaking world. The liturgy in Rome was spoken in Greek for almost 300 years.
    The Latin Romans were almost immune to Christianity. Rome remained a predominantly Classical/Hellenic city in religion. It reamained so Classical that Constantine in the 300s did not choose it for his new “Christian” capital of the Empire because Rome wasn’t yet a “Christian” city in the way that all the cities of the Eastern Empire were by 350 AD. Even in the early 400s we hear of Augustine describing huge Classical/Hellenic religious processions at the regular Greek and Roman festival rambling all throughout Rome. Even when Alaric, the leader of the Visigoths came to sack Rome In the mid 400s we hear that the Roman Senate brought out the altar to the goddess Victory for heavenly protection.
    Yes, there were Christian overseers in Rome during this whole time, but they were not the powerful political leaders that they were in Constantinople and Alexandria. They lived in the Greek-speaking quarters of Rome and were primarily an immigrant church for centuries. In almost all of the western (Latin) empire, when you dig down for the founders of the Christian communities, they were Greeks or Syrian Greeks who had moved west bring Christianity with them, think Iranaeus.
    Why would Peter go to Rome? He went to Antioch and no one mentions that he couldn’t talk with the Hellenized Jews or the Greeks, he just wouldn’t eat with them. He seems to have come to visit a fully established Christian community, so those who say he founded the church in Antioch are being kind to the memory of Peter in the way a eulogist might. He had that remarkable encounter with the centurian at Joppa, but that was a lot closer to home. They both could have known some of the other’s language.
    The Bible mentions that Peter went to Babylon. There is the famous Babylon in Mesopotamia that was a functioning city during Roman times and had a huge Jewish population. Then there is the less well known Babylon in Egypt and some early traditions that attest to Peter being there for some time. Many referred to Rome as Babylon meaning it was a pagan place full of wicked people, which is very true, and some use this nickname for Rome, apply it to Rome and use this Bible verse to “prove” that Peter went to Rome.
    We know from the Bible why Paul went to Rome, we know how he went to Rome, we know his living conditions while in Rome, we know that even under Roman custody he attempted to evangelize the Brothers in Rome. The last chapter of the Book of Acts is very informative about Paul’s Roman connection. Paul’s letter to the Christian community at Rome is renowned for it’s lay out of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His plan of salvation.
    So, where is Peter when Paul writes his letter to the Roman Christians? Where is Peter when Paul arrives and stays in Rome for about 2 years? There is no greeting to Peter in the Letter to the Romans. There is no recognition of Peter being present in Rome while Paul was there. Where was Peter? Biblically, we cannot connect Peter to Rome (nor James to Compostela, nor Thomas to India).
    The problem is that all the non-Biblical early, very early letters and writings of the Christian community said that Peter was at Rome and was killed there. The Church never expresses doubt that Peter was there, the claims that Peter founded the church in Rome and was martyred there are simply accepted as “God’s honest truth” by all. It’s just always been accepted by the Church and the other Patriarchs even when they had reasons to bad-mouth the Christian Overseers in Rome. The idea that Peter was never at Rome is a modern one, as far as we can tell. Constantine the Great built in the 340s a huge pilgrimage church over the traditional place Peter was buried just outside of Rome in what is called the Vatican now.
    So, what are you going to do? If it wasn’t important to our salvation, it was left out of the Bible, so maybe that’s why the Bible is silent on Peter in Rome, it was a side story we didn’t need. Still, all the early Christians, very early Christians say Peter was there and was killed there.
    So even though Peter had no reason to be there (very few Jews and they only spoke Greek), inexpicably he was there and killed there. Must have got on the wrong boat at Ptolemais one day.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @71

    Interesting points about Jews in Rome. I just wonder if there might have been some lower class Jews like Peter that ended up there maybe not exactly of their own choosing. Paul would have been higher class and able to talk to the educated folks. Peter perhaps might have been working with some of the non citizens. But, like you say, there might not have been many of those lower class Jews even there. I don’t know. Or maybe it was some sort divine providence because we know shortly thereafter Titus brought 20,000 Jewish slaves to Rome. Anyway, I took a quick look at wiki which says, “Large numbers of Jews lived in Rome even during the Roman Republican period. They were largely Greek-speaking and poor.”

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @71

    Interesting points about Jews in Rome. I just wonder if there might have been some lower class Jews like Peter that ended up there maybe not exactly of their own choosing. Paul would have been higher class and able to talk to the educated folks. Peter perhaps might have been working with some of the non citizens. But, like you say, there might not have been many of those lower class Jews even there. I don’t know. Or maybe it was some sort divine providence because we know shortly thereafter Titus brought 20,000 Jewish slaves to Rome. Anyway, I took a quick look at wiki which says, “Large numbers of Jews lived in Rome even during the Roman Republican period. They were largely Greek-speaking and poor.”

  • Grace

    sg @ 70

    “Anyway, why do you think that Peter never went to Rome? All the accounts from church history attest to his death in Rome. Why not believe them? I mean we believe other historians from that era when they report where other famous people are buried and other things that happened, etc.

    sg, the Word of God gives no mention as to Peter going to Rome. There are so called historians, who have twisted everything, regarding the Word of God. It’s not there, and because it isn’t, we cannot make it up to suit whatever doctrine the Roman Church has concocted.

    “I mean we believe Suetonius when he describes the funeral of Julius Caesar, so why can’t we believe those early Christian’s accounts of Peter’s death? It is not like there are some competing accounts that he died elsewhere. Is there any good reason not to believe Peter died in Rome?”

    Suetonius has nothing to do with the idea that Peter went to Rome, was killed and buried there. All too many people are taking the accounts handed down from the Roman Catholic Church as being truth, when they amount to nothing more than “tradition” and as they like to quip, they are “historical traditions” – but in fact they are not substantiated, according to the Word of God.

    Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
    Colossians 2:8

  • Grace

    sg @ 70

    “Anyway, why do you think that Peter never went to Rome? All the accounts from church history attest to his death in Rome. Why not believe them? I mean we believe other historians from that era when they report where other famous people are buried and other things that happened, etc.

    sg, the Word of God gives no mention as to Peter going to Rome. There are so called historians, who have twisted everything, regarding the Word of God. It’s not there, and because it isn’t, we cannot make it up to suit whatever doctrine the Roman Church has concocted.

    “I mean we believe Suetonius when he describes the funeral of Julius Caesar, so why can’t we believe those early Christian’s accounts of Peter’s death? It is not like there are some competing accounts that he died elsewhere. Is there any good reason not to believe Peter died in Rome?”

    Suetonius has nothing to do with the idea that Peter went to Rome, was killed and buried there. All too many people are taking the accounts handed down from the Roman Catholic Church as being truth, when they amount to nothing more than “tradition” and as they like to quip, they are “historical traditions” – but in fact they are not substantiated, according to the Word of God.

    Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
    Colossians 2:8

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @73

    Lemme see if I got this straight.

    You don’t believe that Peter went to Rome because the early church fathers say he did, but you trust that the exact same church fathers correctly established the Biblical canon and steadfastly maintained the Holy Scriptures for over a thousand years?

    Okay, whatever. It is just goofy.

    How can the same exact men at once be fanciful liars and also correctly discern which writings are the inspired Word of God?

    The very scriptures you think are correctly transmitted to the present were selected and preserved by the same men you think (entirely without a basis) invented false accounts of where Peter was martyred.

    I don’t get it.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @73

    Lemme see if I got this straight.

    You don’t believe that Peter went to Rome because the early church fathers say he did, but you trust that the exact same church fathers correctly established the Biblical canon and steadfastly maintained the Holy Scriptures for over a thousand years?

    Okay, whatever. It is just goofy.

    How can the same exact men at once be fanciful liars and also correctly discern which writings are the inspired Word of God?

    The very scriptures you think are correctly transmitted to the present were selected and preserved by the same men you think (entirely without a basis) invented false accounts of where Peter was martyred.

    I don’t get it.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Anyway, using Grace’s logic, there were no martyrs and all of church history is pure invention. None of those people really did any of the stuff that people said they did. There was no Council of Nicea. It isn’t in the Bible, so it just didn’t happen. Catholics just made it all up.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Anyway, using Grace’s logic, there were no martyrs and all of church history is pure invention. None of those people really did any of the stuff that people said they did. There was no Council of Nicea. It isn’t in the Bible, so it just didn’t happen. Catholics just made it all up.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Actually, SG (@75), I’m not sure if you knew this, but after the last epistle was written, Christianity just disappeared from the face of the earth for almost two millenia. And then it was reborn in America one day in the 1800s, when a bound and complete KJV Bible fell from the sky.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Actually, SG (@75), I’m not sure if you knew this, but after the last epistle was written, Christianity just disappeared from the face of the earth for almost two millenia. And then it was reborn in America one day in the 1800s, when a bound and complete KJV Bible fell from the sky.

  • Joanne

    One understands that Claudius and Herod Antipas were close friends having been schooled together as boys in Rome. The Herodians were great lovers of the Classical world even though they remained (Idumean) Jews. As much education as Antipas got in Rome one could even expect him to understand Latin (nice to know in court and in understanding Roman law), a very rare knowledge for an easterner. Earlier, the Emperor Augustus knew Herod the Great quite well and Augustus came to know that Herod had bloody moods of jealousy wherein he might kill his own wives and children. I think that is why the Emperors thought it a good policy to keep as many of Herod’s sons away from Palestine for as long as possible, and therefore the arrangement for the sons of Herod to be educated at Rome.
    So, when one reads that Claudius, the only sane emperor since Augustus, is said to have run all the Jews out of Rome one takes that cum grano salis. Claudius knew all about the numerous religiously required limitations put upon his friend Antipas (they could not eat together, Antipas could not eat shellfish, etc.). One cannot say that Claudius was simply anti-Jewish, so his Jewish exile must have been rather nuaunced.
    Still, when Paul met with the leaders of the Jewish community in Rome, they seem few in numbers and woefully out of touch with Palestine. As nasty as the Jews were toward Paul in Jerusalem and Caesaria Maritima, one knows that letters would have been sent to the Jewish community in Rome the moment it was learned that Paul’s ship left the grandios harbor. “No letter from Jerusalem about Paul.” That’s odd after the extreme animosity the Jews held for Paul. Unless the Jewish population of Rome was experiencing irregularities.
    I suspect that Claudius Jewish exile was someting one could buy one’s way out of, which the very old and well established community of import/export Jews were quite capable of doing. The poor folks had to depend on “patrons” to protect them which probably happened, so maybe only 1/2 of the Jews left who were the poorest or the latest arrivals. Perhaps the leaders were particularly targeted for exile to make a point, so Paul may have been dealing with new leaders not so well connected yet.
    So the irony of Titus bringing to Rome 20,000 captured Jewish zealots to be used as slaves again makes one blink one’s eyes. Have you ever owned or purchased any slaves. If you did, would you be in the market for zealous, Roman-hating, war captives? Well, think who would be. There’s always a need for new galley slaves; new saltminers; new quarry fodder. And the women for the city brothels; I think you’d have to go a long way to break a zealots spirits for that kind of cooperation. These 20,000 slaves were brought to Rome to be worked to death, as quickly as need be. Would you buy for a nursery maid a Jewish zealot woman who had seen her own babies sliced to death by a Roman Soldier? She might be just as incined to slice up your precious, curley-headed heir.
    Still, with our God in heaven, some, or even many would escape into the regular slave community, and eventual freedom. Time is long, retribution is short.
    So, perhaps you are right, that just at the right time, when their spirits were completely broken, God sent Peter to Rome to convert the Jewish slaves of Titus, for most of whom Aramaic was their first language. Wouldn’t that have made a wonderful Bible story with so many good things for our salvation.
    But, only silence from the Bible. If it happened it was not important enough to the Holy Spirit through the church to make it into the Bible. Still, something like this would give us a plausible reason for Peter to be in Rome for the Jews.

  • Joanne

    One understands that Claudius and Herod Antipas were close friends having been schooled together as boys in Rome. The Herodians were great lovers of the Classical world even though they remained (Idumean) Jews. As much education as Antipas got in Rome one could even expect him to understand Latin (nice to know in court and in understanding Roman law), a very rare knowledge for an easterner. Earlier, the Emperor Augustus knew Herod the Great quite well and Augustus came to know that Herod had bloody moods of jealousy wherein he might kill his own wives and children. I think that is why the Emperors thought it a good policy to keep as many of Herod’s sons away from Palestine for as long as possible, and therefore the arrangement for the sons of Herod to be educated at Rome.
    So, when one reads that Claudius, the only sane emperor since Augustus, is said to have run all the Jews out of Rome one takes that cum grano salis. Claudius knew all about the numerous religiously required limitations put upon his friend Antipas (they could not eat together, Antipas could not eat shellfish, etc.). One cannot say that Claudius was simply anti-Jewish, so his Jewish exile must have been rather nuaunced.
    Still, when Paul met with the leaders of the Jewish community in Rome, they seem few in numbers and woefully out of touch with Palestine. As nasty as the Jews were toward Paul in Jerusalem and Caesaria Maritima, one knows that letters would have been sent to the Jewish community in Rome the moment it was learned that Paul’s ship left the grandios harbor. “No letter from Jerusalem about Paul.” That’s odd after the extreme animosity the Jews held for Paul. Unless the Jewish population of Rome was experiencing irregularities.
    I suspect that Claudius Jewish exile was someting one could buy one’s way out of, which the very old and well established community of import/export Jews were quite capable of doing. The poor folks had to depend on “patrons” to protect them which probably happened, so maybe only 1/2 of the Jews left who were the poorest or the latest arrivals. Perhaps the leaders were particularly targeted for exile to make a point, so Paul may have been dealing with new leaders not so well connected yet.
    So the irony of Titus bringing to Rome 20,000 captured Jewish zealots to be used as slaves again makes one blink one’s eyes. Have you ever owned or purchased any slaves. If you did, would you be in the market for zealous, Roman-hating, war captives? Well, think who would be. There’s always a need for new galley slaves; new saltminers; new quarry fodder. And the women for the city brothels; I think you’d have to go a long way to break a zealots spirits for that kind of cooperation. These 20,000 slaves were brought to Rome to be worked to death, as quickly as need be. Would you buy for a nursery maid a Jewish zealot woman who had seen her own babies sliced to death by a Roman Soldier? She might be just as incined to slice up your precious, curley-headed heir.
    Still, with our God in heaven, some, or even many would escape into the regular slave community, and eventual freedom. Time is long, retribution is short.
    So, perhaps you are right, that just at the right time, when their spirits were completely broken, God sent Peter to Rome to convert the Jewish slaves of Titus, for most of whom Aramaic was their first language. Wouldn’t that have made a wonderful Bible story with so many good things for our salvation.
    But, only silence from the Bible. If it happened it was not important enough to the Holy Spirit through the church to make it into the Bible. Still, something like this would give us a plausible reason for Peter to be in Rome for the Jews.

  • Jacob C

    So, if I am understanding some things correctly – the Holy Spirit used people to write the Bible. However, God did not use any church organization – least of all the Roman Church – to preserve and transmit the Bible. There were not any church councils to determine what books should belong in the Bible, or if there were, Rome cannot claim any of the credit. Or if Rome had anything to do with it, it was bad of the nasty Romanists to dictate what belonged in the Bible. So whatever happend or didn’t happen, Rome was bad, just bad! But we have the Bible and can trust it because, well, we just can! It just somehow got preserved but Rome had nothing to do with it. Uh, okay… Sure (slowly backing away from thread…).

  • Jacob C

    So, if I am understanding some things correctly – the Holy Spirit used people to write the Bible. However, God did not use any church organization – least of all the Roman Church – to preserve and transmit the Bible. There were not any church councils to determine what books should belong in the Bible, or if there were, Rome cannot claim any of the credit. Or if Rome had anything to do with it, it was bad of the nasty Romanists to dictate what belonged in the Bible. So whatever happend or didn’t happen, Rome was bad, just bad! But we have the Bible and can trust it because, well, we just can! It just somehow got preserved but Rome had nothing to do with it. Uh, okay… Sure (slowly backing away from thread…).

  • Grace

    sg @ 75

    “Anyway, using Grace’s logic, there were no martyrs and all of church history is pure invention. None of those people really did any of the stuff that people said they did. There was no Council of Nicea. It isn’t in the Bible, so it just didn’t happen. Catholics just made it all up.”

    Attributing such gibberish to me, is nothing short of dishonesty. No where have I stated what you have contrived in your post at 75. I thought you had more integrity, then to make up such a story, even though you will most likely say it was sarcasm – there is no excuse for making up such a tale.

  • Grace

    sg @ 75

    “Anyway, using Grace’s logic, there were no martyrs and all of church history is pure invention. None of those people really did any of the stuff that people said they did. There was no Council of Nicea. It isn’t in the Bible, so it just didn’t happen. Catholics just made it all up.”

    Attributing such gibberish to me, is nothing short of dishonesty. No where have I stated what you have contrived in your post at 75. I thought you had more integrity, then to make up such a story, even though you will most likely say it was sarcasm – there is no excuse for making up such a tale.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    That’s right, Grace (@79), if you act all outraged and (attempt to?) miss the point, maybe you won’t have to respond to the arguments that other people made.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    That’s right, Grace (@79), if you act all outraged and (attempt to?) miss the point, maybe you won’t have to respond to the arguments that other people made.

  • Jacob C

    Well tODD, I have long maintained that for most of American protestantism, post-Apostolic or at least post-Pilgrim Christianity began with the two Billys. If you are a fundamentalist, modern Christianity began with Billy Sunday. If you are an evangelical, it began with Billy Graham.

    I have talked to a number of fundamentalists/evangelicals over the years. It is like after the Apostles there wasn’t much Christianity until the Pilgrims. Most fundamentalists really get excited talking about the Pilgrims – they might not be so interested in the Reformation, seeing it as an intra-Roman squabble that may not be too relevant to them. There really is an a-historical or even anti-historical tendency, maybe because America is still a young country and many people came to America to escape history, as it were.

  • Jacob C

    Well tODD, I have long maintained that for most of American protestantism, post-Apostolic or at least post-Pilgrim Christianity began with the two Billys. If you are a fundamentalist, modern Christianity began with Billy Sunday. If you are an evangelical, it began with Billy Graham.

    I have talked to a number of fundamentalists/evangelicals over the years. It is like after the Apostles there wasn’t much Christianity until the Pilgrims. Most fundamentalists really get excited talking about the Pilgrims – they might not be so interested in the Reformation, seeing it as an intra-Roman squabble that may not be too relevant to them. There really is an a-historical or even anti-historical tendency, maybe because America is still a young country and many people came to America to escape history, as it were.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Yes, Jacob (@81), history is just too full of those awful Catholics, so best to ignore the overwhelming majority of it — what could one learn from it all, anyhow? — until the Second Great Awakening, when God re-established Christianity after it got lost shortly after the Apostles died.

    (By the way, just between you and me — which is why this is in parentheses, to keep it hush-hush — but you know what other group has a view of history like that? The Mormons.)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Yes, Jacob (@81), history is just too full of those awful Catholics, so best to ignore the overwhelming majority of it — what could one learn from it all, anyhow? — until the Second Great Awakening, when God re-established Christianity after it got lost shortly after the Apostles died.

    (By the way, just between you and me — which is why this is in parentheses, to keep it hush-hush — but you know what other group has a view of history like that? The Mormons.)

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Oh come on, Grace. I must have asked you at least 25 questions on this thread that you didn’t even answer. You could have clarified. You didn’t. It is the same over and over. It’s not in the Bible. It’s not in the Bible. It’s not in the Bible.

    Duh. We know that. The faithful churchmen whom you defame as liars did not allow additions to the canon because they, like you, felt that only inspired material should be in it, not a bunch of human additions like a running narrative of all of church history. Having said that, I think I am safe in saying that stuff happened after the inspired writings were written. So my question is why you think you can’t believe the accounts of the early Christians of the first few centuries, when you so trust their judgement in compiling the scriptures? Isn’t compiling the scriptures a far greater task than just reporting the place and manner of one man’s death? Even the pagans can do that.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Oh come on, Grace. I must have asked you at least 25 questions on this thread that you didn’t even answer. You could have clarified. You didn’t. It is the same over and over. It’s not in the Bible. It’s not in the Bible. It’s not in the Bible.

    Duh. We know that. The faithful churchmen whom you defame as liars did not allow additions to the canon because they, like you, felt that only inspired material should be in it, not a bunch of human additions like a running narrative of all of church history. Having said that, I think I am safe in saying that stuff happened after the inspired writings were written. So my question is why you think you can’t believe the accounts of the early Christians of the first few centuries, when you so trust their judgement in compiling the scriptures? Isn’t compiling the scriptures a far greater task than just reporting the place and manner of one man’s death? Even the pagans can do that.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “He who is faithful in little is also faithful in much” must not work in reverse. Even though the early Christians were faithful in much, we can’t trust them to be honest about a detail like where Peter died, even when no one in history is contradicting them.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “He who is faithful in little is also faithful in much” must not work in reverse. Even though the early Christians were faithful in much, we can’t trust them to be honest about a detail like where Peter died, even when no one in history is contradicting them.

  • Grace

    The published term “Evangelical” was first used by Tyndale. Perhaps you would like to call him a “Billy” as well. But of course if you don’t know any better one can make disparaging remarks about anyone, by using their name as a childish ‘kick ball’-

    “He exhorteth them to proceed constantly in the evangelical truth.”
    1531 by William Tyndale

    William Tyndale was the very FIRST to print the New Testament in the English language (1526)

  • Grace

    The published term “Evangelical” was first used by Tyndale. Perhaps you would like to call him a “Billy” as well. But of course if you don’t know any better one can make disparaging remarks about anyone, by using their name as a childish ‘kick ball’-

    “He exhorteth them to proceed constantly in the evangelical truth.”
    1531 by William Tyndale

    William Tyndale was the very FIRST to print the New Testament in the English language (1526)

  • Jacob C

    TODD, some fundamentalists/evangelicals have eschatology not too different from that other popular group, the Jehovah’s Witnesses. But back to the Mormans, at least they get neat stuff like Jesus visiting America and they have Planet Kolob to themselves. But that doesn’t quite make up for the underwear thing. So the Mormans had this neat interplanetary thing going while all the fundamentalists could do was bash saloons! That is really hard to take if you are Irish or German. But I am dragging things way off topic and should sign off before I completely distroy this thread. And I should be nice, I might want to put my hat in the ring to be the first U.S. Ambassador to Planet Kolob.

  • Jacob C

    TODD, some fundamentalists/evangelicals have eschatology not too different from that other popular group, the Jehovah’s Witnesses. But back to the Mormans, at least they get neat stuff like Jesus visiting America and they have Planet Kolob to themselves. But that doesn’t quite make up for the underwear thing. So the Mormans had this neat interplanetary thing going while all the fundamentalists could do was bash saloons! That is really hard to take if you are Irish or German. But I am dragging things way off topic and should sign off before I completely distroy this thread. And I should be nice, I might want to put my hat in the ring to be the first U.S. Ambassador to Planet Kolob.

  • Grace

    Who needs the “traditions of men” when they have the real thing, from the LORD Jesus Christ, the inerrant Word of God?

    We are warned in Scripture:

    8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

    9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
    Colossians 2

    17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

    18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
    Romans 16

  • Grace

    Who needs the “traditions of men” when they have the real thing, from the LORD Jesus Christ, the inerrant Word of God?

    We are warned in Scripture:

    8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

    9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
    Colossians 2

    17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

    18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
    Romans 16

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “William Tyndale was the very FIRST to print the New Testament in the English language (1526)”

    Right, because you can’t print without a printing press. Also, you can’t have it in the English language until there is an English language. But they did have it in Anglo-Saxon albeit handwritten by a bunch of Roman Catholics.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_English_Bible_translations

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “William Tyndale was the very FIRST to print the New Testament in the English language (1526)”

    Right, because you can’t print without a printing press. Also, you can’t have it in the English language until there is an English language. But they did have it in Anglo-Saxon albeit handwritten by a bunch of Roman Catholics.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_English_Bible_translations

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    At this point I would like to defend fundies by saying that you can have rational conversations with many of them very unlike this unfortunate exchange with Grace. I won’t call it a discussion, since it isn’t.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    At this point I would like to defend fundies by saying that you can have rational conversations with many of them very unlike this unfortunate exchange with Grace. I won’t call it a discussion, since it isn’t.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Who needs the “traditions of men” when they have the real thing, from the LORD Jesus Christ, the inerrant Word of God?”

    This sounds familiar. It is like the alleged quotation of the Caliph at the burning of the library of Alexandria:

    “The Caliph has been quoted as saying of the Library’s holdings, “they will either contradict the Koran, in which case they are heresy, or they will agree with it, so they are superfluous.”

    We don’t need no stinking church history. If it ain’t in the Bible,… well, uh, then it ain’t in the Bible, so you can’t know it and don’t need to know anyhow.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Who needs the “traditions of men” when they have the real thing, from the LORD Jesus Christ, the inerrant Word of God?”

    This sounds familiar. It is like the alleged quotation of the Caliph at the burning of the library of Alexandria:

    “The Caliph has been quoted as saying of the Library’s holdings, “they will either contradict the Koran, in which case they are heresy, or they will agree with it, so they are superfluous.”

    We don’t need no stinking church history. If it ain’t in the Bible,… well, uh, then it ain’t in the Bible, so you can’t know it and don’t need to know anyhow.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace said (@85):

    The published term “Evangelical” was first used by Tyndale.

    That’s great … if you only concern yourself with the English language. But such a narrow view of history is only symptomatic of the issue that’s being discussed here.

    According to the Grimm’s Deutsche Wörterbuch, the word “Evangelisch” was used as early as 1527 in German. And, you know, there might be some earlier usage of the underlying concept in Greek or something, but that may extend back into the Bad Catholic Era.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace said (@85):

    The published term “Evangelical” was first used by Tyndale.

    That’s great … if you only concern yourself with the English language. But such a narrow view of history is only symptomatic of the issue that’s being discussed here.

    According to the Grimm’s Deutsche Wörterbuch, the word “Evangelisch” was used as early as 1527 in German. And, you know, there might be some earlier usage of the underlying concept in Greek or something, but that may extend back into the Bad Catholic Era.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @87

    What are you talking about?

    There is no philosophy involved in the accounts of Peter’s death in Rome. There is no offense to any doctrine to simply record history of who was a bishop in Rome. What possible reason could they have had to lie? What evidence is there that Peter died elsewhere?

    The errors that the protestants objected to came like a thousand years later.

    Again. It is just goofy.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @87

    What are you talking about?

    There is no philosophy involved in the accounts of Peter’s death in Rome. There is no offense to any doctrine to simply record history of who was a bishop in Rome. What possible reason could they have had to lie? What evidence is there that Peter died elsewhere?

    The errors that the protestants objected to came like a thousand years later.

    Again. It is just goofy.

  • Grace

    sg,

    “What possible reason could they have had to lie?”

    Just look back in history.

    There is no evidence that Peter was ever in Rome. That’s the problem, you cannot accept. The Roman Church has used the “tradition” of men to misconstrue the Bible – making Mary an individual who can be prayed to when the Scriptures clearly state, who the “mediator” is.

    Maybe you Lutherans are more Roman Catholic than you realize – Reading all your disgruntled attempts to shore up the holes in their beliefs is very revealing, to say the least!

  • Grace

    sg,

    “What possible reason could they have had to lie?”

    Just look back in history.

    There is no evidence that Peter was ever in Rome. That’s the problem, you cannot accept. The Roman Church has used the “tradition” of men to misconstrue the Bible – making Mary an individual who can be prayed to when the Scriptures clearly state, who the “mediator” is.

    Maybe you Lutherans are more Roman Catholic than you realize – Reading all your disgruntled attempts to shore up the holes in their beliefs is very revealing, to say the least!

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “There is no evidence that Peter was ever in Rome.”

    Yes, there is. It is the tradition of the church and has been since the very earliest recording. You act like Holy Scripture is the only record of events that counts. That is absurd. Why do we need inspired writing to attest to where Peter died? or where any priest, martyr or bishop lived died or served? You certainly haven’t given any evidence that he didn’t go. All you have to say is that it isn’t in the Bible, but so what? Neither is Caeser’s death, but we believe that.

    This isn’t about the beliefs or doctrines of the church. Peter’s death in Rome isn’t a church doctrine. It’s just history like the records of any other historical figure or event.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “There is no evidence that Peter was ever in Rome.”

    Yes, there is. It is the tradition of the church and has been since the very earliest recording. You act like Holy Scripture is the only record of events that counts. That is absurd. Why do we need inspired writing to attest to where Peter died? or where any priest, martyr or bishop lived died or served? You certainly haven’t given any evidence that he didn’t go. All you have to say is that it isn’t in the Bible, but so what? Neither is Caeser’s death, but we believe that.

    This isn’t about the beliefs or doctrines of the church. Peter’s death in Rome isn’t a church doctrine. It’s just history like the records of any other historical figure or event.

  • Jacob C

    I am not aware of any Lutherans saying it is okay to pray to Mary. But I don’t think many Lutherans reflexively condemn Rome for everything. Rome was/is wrong about some important things, but that does not mean Rome is wrong about many other things. And we can learn especially from the early Church Fathers, who battled heretics like the Gnostics and who taught long before some of the errors in the medieval Church became an issue.

  • Jacob C

    I am not aware of any Lutherans saying it is okay to pray to Mary. But I don’t think many Lutherans reflexively condemn Rome for everything. Rome was/is wrong about some important things, but that does not mean Rome is wrong about many other things. And we can learn especially from the early Church Fathers, who battled heretics like the Gnostics and who taught long before some of the errors in the medieval Church became an issue.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “attempts to shore up the holes in their beliefs is very revealing, to say the least!”

    As if.

    You are the one with the holes that can’t be reconciled. That is why you can’t answer a single question as to why you so trust the church fathers who judged what would be in the Bible. You keep calling them liars.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “attempts to shore up the holes in their beliefs is very revealing, to say the least!”

    As if.

    You are the one with the holes that can’t be reconciled. That is why you can’t answer a single question as to why you so trust the church fathers who judged what would be in the Bible. You keep calling them liars.

  • Grace

    sg,

    The stuff you and the RCC claim isn’t truth, it isn’t in the Bible.

    The Roman Church did not write the Bible. The Bible was given by God, penned through HIS Spirit through the Apostles. That is the inerrant, infallible Word of God, it DOES NOT INCLUDE TRADITION/TRADITIONS, which is difficult for you to understand.

    The problem you have, and often exhibit, is; when you don’t get the answer you want, doing hand stands, and grumbling about my not answering your questions is childish.

  • Grace

    sg,

    The stuff you and the RCC claim isn’t truth, it isn’t in the Bible.

    The Roman Church did not write the Bible. The Bible was given by God, penned through HIS Spirit through the Apostles. That is the inerrant, infallible Word of God, it DOES NOT INCLUDE TRADITION/TRADITIONS, which is difficult for you to understand.

    The problem you have, and often exhibit, is; when you don’t get the answer you want, doing hand stands, and grumbling about my not answering your questions is childish.

  • Tom Hering

    If Peter ever got within spitting distance of Rome, then Rome’s claim that he was the first pope might have some support. Or so Grace fears.

  • Tom Hering

    If Peter ever got within spitting distance of Rome, then Rome’s claim that he was the first pope might have some support. Or so Grace fears.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “The Bible was given by God, penned through HIS Spirit through the Apostles.”

    Yeah, we know that. But how did it get from the Apostles to us, Grace?

    That is the question you can’t answer.

    Cuz, that was like 2000 years ago and there was a whole lot more stuff that was circulating and claiming to be written by this or that witness.

    So, how come that stuff isn’t in the Bible, Grace?

    I know how God gave the inspiration.

    I am asking how it came to us intact.

    So, how about it?

    I am saying (like every historian) that the contents of the Bible were selected by the men you call liars. That is the answer you can’t accept. These men who decided and judged what would be in the Bible are the ones you say just arbitrarily or fancifully lied about Peter living, serving and dying in Rome. These faithful men weren’t high powered medieval nobility usurping church authority to further their own political aims like the popes Luther opposed. Sheesh.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “The Bible was given by God, penned through HIS Spirit through the Apostles.”

    Yeah, we know that. But how did it get from the Apostles to us, Grace?

    That is the question you can’t answer.

    Cuz, that was like 2000 years ago and there was a whole lot more stuff that was circulating and claiming to be written by this or that witness.

    So, how come that stuff isn’t in the Bible, Grace?

    I know how God gave the inspiration.

    I am asking how it came to us intact.

    So, how about it?

    I am saying (like every historian) that the contents of the Bible were selected by the men you call liars. That is the answer you can’t accept. These men who decided and judged what would be in the Bible are the ones you say just arbitrarily or fancifully lied about Peter living, serving and dying in Rome. These faithful men weren’t high powered medieval nobility usurping church authority to further their own political aims like the popes Luther opposed. Sheesh.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    100

    @ 98

    Okay, but why fear that Peter was the first bishop of Rome?

    What is so bad about that?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    100

    @ 98

    Okay, but why fear that Peter was the first bishop of Rome?

    What is so bad about that?

  • Tom Hering

    Well … it would make that first-century Roman Church seem to have … biblical authority! And that’s a slippery slope. Where would it ever end? (About 1000 AD, with the very beginning of Rome’s innovations? Nah. You’d have to have a real biblical theology to make that argument.)

  • Tom Hering

    Well … it would make that first-century Roman Church seem to have … biblical authority! And that’s a slippery slope. Where would it ever end? (About 1000 AD, with the very beginning of Rome’s innovations? Nah. You’d have to have a real biblical theology to make that argument.)

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Grace, you know the Orthodox Catholics of the East have been aggrieved at the behavior of the Roman Catholic church for like a thousand years over the issue of the papacy. Yet they don’t deny all that came before in order to try to undermine a false doctrine like the primacy of the pope. Same with the Evangelical Catholics aka Lutherans who don’t think that the bishop of Rome gets to just proclaim doctrines.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Grace, you know the Orthodox Catholics of the East have been aggrieved at the behavior of the Roman Catholic church for like a thousand years over the issue of the papacy. Yet they don’t deny all that came before in order to try to undermine a false doctrine like the primacy of the pope. Same with the Evangelical Catholics aka Lutherans who don’t think that the bishop of Rome gets to just proclaim doctrines.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Tom, earlier on this thread, I was asking her why she didn’t believe it, because it is possible someone has a good reason that I don’t know about. Church tradition isn’t infallible. So, it could be that there is an actual good reason. Anyway, if there is a good reason, Grace doesn’t appear to know it. Further, Peter living and dying in Rome doesn’t contradict scripture, so it shouldn’t be a problem for a fundamentalist.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Tom, earlier on this thread, I was asking her why she didn’t believe it, because it is possible someone has a good reason that I don’t know about. Church tradition isn’t infallible. So, it could be that there is an actual good reason. Anyway, if there is a good reason, Grace doesn’t appear to know it. Further, Peter living and dying in Rome doesn’t contradict scripture, so it shouldn’t be a problem for a fundamentalist.

  • Tom Hering

    I’ve never been able to figure out why Grace pounces on the things she does. The only consistency I can discern is she sees them all as threats to the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. Wait. Let me rephrase that. Once delivered unto the … the … somebodies. (Saints sounds too Roman Catholic.)

  • Tom Hering

    I’ve never been able to figure out why Grace pounces on the things she does. The only consistency I can discern is she sees them all as threats to the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. Wait. Let me rephrase that. Once delivered unto the … the … somebodies. (Saints sounds too Roman Catholic.)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Aaand, it’s SG for the win! I don’t always agree with everything you say, SG, but on this thread, your tenacity and focus are spot-on!

    And, to add my own thoughts… Grace said (@93):

    There is no evidence that Peter was ever in Rome.

    Grace here commits the logical fallacy of believing that an absence of evidence (er, sort of) constitutes an evidence of absence. But it doesn’t. If Grace’s claim is that there is simply no evidence either way, then fine — but then, she wouldn’t be able to claim that Peter wasn’t there, either. At most, she would have to insist that we can’t really know for sure. But she doesn’t. She oversteps. She claims to have evidence that she, quite obviously lacks: evidence that he wasn’t there.

    The Roman Church has used the “tradition” of men to misconstrue the Bible…

    Now this is just straight-up irrelevant. As written, I agree with that statement. But what does this have to do with Peter and his travels? Nothing. There is no contradiction of Scripture, since Scripture doesn’t tell us anything about it. Ah, but here’s that slippery slope! Grace fears that if we say the Catholics are right about Peter being in Rome … that, and I know this makes no sense, but that, what, maybe they’re right about the papacy? That has to be her argument, but it’s so ridiculous, I can’t imagine why she’d think that. One can believe Peter was in Rome without subscribing to the papacy and all its errors. Well, I mean, Grace can’t, obviously, but other people can.

    The stuff you and the RCC claim isn’t truth, it isn’t in the Bible.

    The irony here, of course, is that this is coming from the woman who flat-out denies the words of Scripture in John 20:23 (which we’re discussing on another thread). And yet she accuses us of believing things “not in the Bible”. Too rich.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Aaand, it’s SG for the win! I don’t always agree with everything you say, SG, but on this thread, your tenacity and focus are spot-on!

    And, to add my own thoughts… Grace said (@93):

    There is no evidence that Peter was ever in Rome.

    Grace here commits the logical fallacy of believing that an absence of evidence (er, sort of) constitutes an evidence of absence. But it doesn’t. If Grace’s claim is that there is simply no evidence either way, then fine — but then, she wouldn’t be able to claim that Peter wasn’t there, either. At most, she would have to insist that we can’t really know for sure. But she doesn’t. She oversteps. She claims to have evidence that she, quite obviously lacks: evidence that he wasn’t there.

    The Roman Church has used the “tradition” of men to misconstrue the Bible…

    Now this is just straight-up irrelevant. As written, I agree with that statement. But what does this have to do with Peter and his travels? Nothing. There is no contradiction of Scripture, since Scripture doesn’t tell us anything about it. Ah, but here’s that slippery slope! Grace fears that if we say the Catholics are right about Peter being in Rome … that, and I know this makes no sense, but that, what, maybe they’re right about the papacy? That has to be her argument, but it’s so ridiculous, I can’t imagine why she’d think that. One can believe Peter was in Rome without subscribing to the papacy and all its errors. Well, I mean, Grace can’t, obviously, but other people can.

    The stuff you and the RCC claim isn’t truth, it isn’t in the Bible.

    The irony here, of course, is that this is coming from the woman who flat-out denies the words of Scripture in John 20:23 (which we’re discussing on another thread). And yet she accuses us of believing things “not in the Bible”. Too rich.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@97), here’s a question. I know you won’t answer it. I know you can’t answer it. But I’ll post it so that others can see the gaping hole in your thought process. Even though SG has already done this in her own style.

    You said (@97):

    The Bible was given by God, penned through HIS Spirit through the Apostles.

    Yes, God did inspire men to write the various accounts and epistles that they did. We are agreed on that.

    But I’m quite certain you don’t know how those various accounts and epistles came to be collected in the single volume we know today as the Bible. Why were they picked? Why were others not picked? (There were many, many other accounts and epistles that are not in the Bible.)

    To hear your argument here, either the Bible was delivered in a single, bound copy to the Church at some point and time (to whom? when? where?), or the various letters and accounts that now constitute the Bible were stamped with a heavenly “For Inclusion In Forthcoming Bible Project”, so that it was obvious which ones to include.

    I know you’re going to ignore me. Just as you’ve always ignored this question. You have to ignore it, in order to maintain your position like it is. Your ignorance on this topic is crucial to your belief system.

    Which is, you know, a little ironic. That you require ignorance of the Bible in order to maintain your would-be pure understanding of the Bible.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@97), here’s a question. I know you won’t answer it. I know you can’t answer it. But I’ll post it so that others can see the gaping hole in your thought process. Even though SG has already done this in her own style.

    You said (@97):

    The Bible was given by God, penned through HIS Spirit through the Apostles.

    Yes, God did inspire men to write the various accounts and epistles that they did. We are agreed on that.

    But I’m quite certain you don’t know how those various accounts and epistles came to be collected in the single volume we know today as the Bible. Why were they picked? Why were others not picked? (There were many, many other accounts and epistles that are not in the Bible.)

    To hear your argument here, either the Bible was delivered in a single, bound copy to the Church at some point and time (to whom? when? where?), or the various letters and accounts that now constitute the Bible were stamped with a heavenly “For Inclusion In Forthcoming Bible Project”, so that it was obvious which ones to include.

    I know you’re going to ignore me. Just as you’ve always ignored this question. You have to ignore it, in order to maintain your position like it is. Your ignorance on this topic is crucial to your belief system.

    Which is, you know, a little ironic. That you require ignorance of the Bible in order to maintain your would-be pure understanding of the Bible.

  • Grace

    So, the “papist” delivery lives on, just outside the RCC! – -

    Oh my goodness, who would have ever guessed!!

  • Grace

    So, the “papist” delivery lives on, just outside the RCC! – -

    Oh my goodness, who would have ever guessed!!

  • Grace

    Misconstruing what I post, doesn’t make sense, nor does it make sense to claim something, such as Peter ever being Rome, when it isn’t true.

    If Peter had ever been actually there, I’m more than sure that the Roman’s would have announced it loud and clear, with all the proof from the manuscripts, penned by the Apostles. But NAY, that’s not the case, there is no proof, ONLY the TRADITIONAL, “TRADITIONS” of the Roman Catholic Church.

  • Grace

    Misconstruing what I post, doesn’t make sense, nor does it make sense to claim something, such as Peter ever being Rome, when it isn’t true.

    If Peter had ever been actually there, I’m more than sure that the Roman’s would have announced it loud and clear, with all the proof from the manuscripts, penned by the Apostles. But NAY, that’s not the case, there is no proof, ONLY the TRADITIONAL, “TRADITIONS” of the Roman Catholic Church.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace said (@107):

    So, the “papist” delivery lives on, just outside the RCC! – -

    Grace, if you’re talking to me, it would help for you both to address me, as well as to indicate what it is you’re replying to. As it is, I have no idea what you’re talking about. You’re the only one who’s used the word “papist” in this thread. And nobody here is arguing in favor of the papacy. I’m afraid you’re just proving Tom’s point about your fear of the slippery slope. But to be sure of that, your point would have to make sense.

    Misconstruing what I post, doesn’t make sense…

    This is your eternal complaint — and, more to the point, your way of dodging any questions or issues you feel like. I’ve seen you do it enough times, you know. If you really thought I was miscontruing something you said, then why don’t you say what I’m misconstruing — what did you say, and how did I misunderstand it? But these are just yet more questions you won’t answer. Like the question about where the Bible came from.

    …nor does it make sense to claim something, such as Peter ever being Rome, when it isn’t true.

    This has already been explained to you, Grace. Repeatedly. You have no evidence that “it isn’t true”. You yourself claimed (@93) that “There is no evidence that Peter was ever in Rome.” Which — pay attention here — means that you can’t conclusively say he wasn’t. (And, as SG has already noted, there is more evidence for his being there than for his not being there.)

    If Peter had ever been actually there, I’m more than sure that the Roman’s would have announced it loud and clear, with all the proof from the manuscripts, penned by the Apostles.

    That sentence doesn’t make a lot of sense, but it appears to say that you only believe in historical events if they’re recorded in Scripture. Is that what you’re saying? But this is a standard you’ve merely invented out of whole cloth. You assert without basis the claim that surely someone would have recorded this or that event, and if they didn’t, then that’s proof it didn’t happen. So I guess, by this “logic”, that Peter never died. Because it wasn’t recorded in the Bible. In fact, quite a lot of people in the Bible never died, because their deaths aren’t recorded. Fascinating.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace said (@107):

    So, the “papist” delivery lives on, just outside the RCC! – -

    Grace, if you’re talking to me, it would help for you both to address me, as well as to indicate what it is you’re replying to. As it is, I have no idea what you’re talking about. You’re the only one who’s used the word “papist” in this thread. And nobody here is arguing in favor of the papacy. I’m afraid you’re just proving Tom’s point about your fear of the slippery slope. But to be sure of that, your point would have to make sense.

    Misconstruing what I post, doesn’t make sense…

    This is your eternal complaint — and, more to the point, your way of dodging any questions or issues you feel like. I’ve seen you do it enough times, you know. If you really thought I was miscontruing something you said, then why don’t you say what I’m misconstruing — what did you say, and how did I misunderstand it? But these are just yet more questions you won’t answer. Like the question about where the Bible came from.

    …nor does it make sense to claim something, such as Peter ever being Rome, when it isn’t true.

    This has already been explained to you, Grace. Repeatedly. You have no evidence that “it isn’t true”. You yourself claimed (@93) that “There is no evidence that Peter was ever in Rome.” Which — pay attention here — means that you can’t conclusively say he wasn’t. (And, as SG has already noted, there is more evidence for his being there than for his not being there.)

    If Peter had ever been actually there, I’m more than sure that the Roman’s would have announced it loud and clear, with all the proof from the manuscripts, penned by the Apostles.

    That sentence doesn’t make a lot of sense, but it appears to say that you only believe in historical events if they’re recorded in Scripture. Is that what you’re saying? But this is a standard you’ve merely invented out of whole cloth. You assert without basis the claim that surely someone would have recorded this or that event, and if they didn’t, then that’s proof it didn’t happen. So I guess, by this “logic”, that Peter never died. Because it wasn’t recorded in the Bible. In fact, quite a lot of people in the Bible never died, because their deaths aren’t recorded. Fascinating.

  • Grace

    One needs to understand that “supposed” historical events, are far different, then those which are based on Scripture, to prove a Biblical point. The two are different and separate from one another.

    The point of whether Peter ever set foot in Rome has always been discussed and debated. The truth is, there is no proof that Peter did go to Rome. IF there were proof that Peter had gone to Rome, the Roman’s would have used it to satisfy the masses who have stood firm that there is no proof.

    Christ, being the focal point of the area within Israel and Jerusalem, thousands of people listening to HIS preaching, being healed, and forgiven of sins was the greatest person they had ever encountered, HE was the Son of God. The Romans observed the miraculous phenomenon.

    After Christ being standing before Pilate, Crucified, and then Resurrected – the LORD Jesus could no longer be thought of as a regular man. The Romans ruled the Jews and their country, which lasted about four hundred years, 63 BC until 313 AD. and understood that this man Jesus, was no ordinary man.

    22 Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified.

    23 And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified.

    24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.

    Matthew 27

    Pilate was the Roman governor, he was the final say in Christ’s Crucifixion here on earth. As anyone can read, Pilate knew that Christ was “innocent of the blood of this just person” –

    Do any of you think the Roman’s were unaware of the impact Christ had upon the people? All the people who had been healed, the lame who were once unable to walk, carried their beds, people risen from the dead, adulteresses forgiven of their sins.

    Where was Rome in the scheme of things?

    Remember: The Romans ruled the Jews and their country which lasted almost four hundred years, 63 BC until 313 AD. After that, Rome headed by Constantine became the leader/head as the Roman mecca for religion. The problem is, they interjected doctrine that was contrary to what Jesus had preached, and his Apostles.

    The church of Rome became very powerful – we can see this as time passed and the DARK AGES, dated about 500 until 1500 A.D., fell upon much of Europe and its surrounding countries. At this dark time in history, Scriptural/Biblical Christian beliefs were illegal. This alone should shine a light as to the ungodly state of the church, supposedly using Biblical Scripture/manuscripts.

    The Romans ruled with an iron hand, they instituted “traditions” – of which the church, even to this day, continue to adhere to.

    Popes and other church leaders, were not to take a wife and be married, but Peter most certainly did. The Roman Catholic Church avoids both passages of Scripture below, EITHER THAT OR they, through the ages have IGNORED, this important point, on purpose, desiring to make their own rules and “traditions”

    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?

    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.

    3 Mine answer to them that do examine me is this,

    4 Have we not power to eat and to drink?

    5 Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas? 1 Corinthians 9

    And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever.
    Matthew 8:14

    Scripture proves that the Roman’s made up their own rules, and “traditions” – Peter was a married man – this too becomes another rule, that never existed.

  • Grace

    One needs to understand that “supposed” historical events, are far different, then those which are based on Scripture, to prove a Biblical point. The two are different and separate from one another.

    The point of whether Peter ever set foot in Rome has always been discussed and debated. The truth is, there is no proof that Peter did go to Rome. IF there were proof that Peter had gone to Rome, the Roman’s would have used it to satisfy the masses who have stood firm that there is no proof.

    Christ, being the focal point of the area within Israel and Jerusalem, thousands of people listening to HIS preaching, being healed, and forgiven of sins was the greatest person they had ever encountered, HE was the Son of God. The Romans observed the miraculous phenomenon.

    After Christ being standing before Pilate, Crucified, and then Resurrected – the LORD Jesus could no longer be thought of as a regular man. The Romans ruled the Jews and their country, which lasted about four hundred years, 63 BC until 313 AD. and understood that this man Jesus, was no ordinary man.

    22 Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified.

    23 And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified.

    24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.

    Matthew 27

    Pilate was the Roman governor, he was the final say in Christ’s Crucifixion here on earth. As anyone can read, Pilate knew that Christ was “innocent of the blood of this just person” –

    Do any of you think the Roman’s were unaware of the impact Christ had upon the people? All the people who had been healed, the lame who were once unable to walk, carried their beds, people risen from the dead, adulteresses forgiven of their sins.

    Where was Rome in the scheme of things?

    Remember: The Romans ruled the Jews and their country which lasted almost four hundred years, 63 BC until 313 AD. After that, Rome headed by Constantine became the leader/head as the Roman mecca for religion. The problem is, they interjected doctrine that was contrary to what Jesus had preached, and his Apostles.

    The church of Rome became very powerful – we can see this as time passed and the DARK AGES, dated about 500 until 1500 A.D., fell upon much of Europe and its surrounding countries. At this dark time in history, Scriptural/Biblical Christian beliefs were illegal. This alone should shine a light as to the ungodly state of the church, supposedly using Biblical Scripture/manuscripts.

    The Romans ruled with an iron hand, they instituted “traditions” – of which the church, even to this day, continue to adhere to.

    Popes and other church leaders, were not to take a wife and be married, but Peter most certainly did. The Roman Catholic Church avoids both passages of Scripture below, EITHER THAT OR they, through the ages have IGNORED, this important point, on purpose, desiring to make their own rules and “traditions”

    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?

    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.

    3 Mine answer to them that do examine me is this,

    4 Have we not power to eat and to drink?

    5 Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas? 1 Corinthians 9

    And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever.
    Matthew 8:14

    Scripture proves that the Roman’s made up their own rules, and “traditions” – Peter was a married man – this too becomes another rule, that never existed.

  • Tom Hering

    Grace, you don’t seem to be upset that all of Rome’s rule-making obscured the Gospel. Rather, you seem to be upset that their rules compete with your rules. Because their rules are false and yours are biblical. Or so you say.

    Maybe it doesn’t matter which of you makes up a bunch of rules for the faith. Maybe the Gospel gets obscured either way.

    You think about that.

  • Tom Hering

    Grace, you don’t seem to be upset that all of Rome’s rule-making obscured the Gospel. Rather, you seem to be upset that their rules compete with your rules. Because their rules are false and yours are biblical. Or so you say.

    Maybe it doesn’t matter which of you makes up a bunch of rules for the faith. Maybe the Gospel gets obscured either way.

    You think about that.

  • Tom Hering

    Has anyone else ever noticed that Pope Grace, by action of the Holy Spirit (she claims), is preserved from even the possibility of error when speaking of matters biblical, and so speaks ex cathedra?

  • Tom Hering

    Has anyone else ever noticed that Pope Grace, by action of the Holy Spirit (she claims), is preserved from even the possibility of error when speaking of matters biblical, and so speaks ex cathedra?

  • Dan Kempin

    Wow. Looks like I missed out on some conversation here.

    I have never heard the assertion that Peter was never in Rome. The argument, (apparently, since historical sources say that he was), is that historical data not found in the bible is not binding.

    Therefore Luther was never in Wittenberg.

    And I was never on this blog. (poof!)

  • Dan Kempin

    Wow. Looks like I missed out on some conversation here.

    I have never heard the assertion that Peter was never in Rome. The argument, (apparently, since historical sources say that he was), is that historical data not found in the bible is not binding.

    Therefore Luther was never in Wittenberg.

    And I was never on this blog. (poof!)

  • Grace

    Dan,

    YOU WROTE: “I have never heard the assertion that Peter was never in Rome.”

    There are a great many people, raised in the Roman Catholic Church, and that of other churches such as Lutheran who have never heard otherwise. They take for granted that what they have been taught is true, they haven’t researched because as you stated: “”I have never heard the assertion that Peter was never in Rome.”

    Of course Luther was in Luther in Wittenberg. No reason to become annoyed because you had never heard that Peter was never in Rome.

  • Grace

    Dan,

    YOU WROTE: “I have never heard the assertion that Peter was never in Rome.”

    There are a great many people, raised in the Roman Catholic Church, and that of other churches such as Lutheran who have never heard otherwise. They take for granted that what they have been taught is true, they haven’t researched because as you stated: “”I have never heard the assertion that Peter was never in Rome.”

    Of course Luther was in Luther in Wittenberg. No reason to become annoyed because you had never heard that Peter was never in Rome.

  • Grace

    Sorry Dan, it should read:

    Of course Luther was in Wittenberg. No reason to become annoyed because you had never heard that Peter was never in Rome.

  • Grace

    Sorry Dan, it should read:

    Of course Luther was in Wittenberg. No reason to become annoyed because you had never heard that Peter was never in Rome.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@114), you haven’t followed the argument at all.

    Of course Luther was in Wittenberg.

    Grace, the Bible doesn’t say he was, so therefore it proves Luther wasn’t in Wittenberg!

    If that sounds like a ridiculous argument, then now you know how we see your logic concerning Peter and Rome.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@114), you haven’t followed the argument at all.

    Of course Luther was in Wittenberg.

    Grace, the Bible doesn’t say he was, so therefore it proves Luther wasn’t in Wittenberg!

    If that sounds like a ridiculous argument, then now you know how we see your logic concerning Peter and Rome.

  • Dan Kempin

    I’m not annoyed, Grace. It just strikes me as an odd assertion, and an even odder thing to research and argue. Why would anyone really care whether Peter had been to Rome? I’ll pile on any argument against the power and primacy of the pope, of course, (we lutherans kind of started that), but I can come up with much better arguments than Peter’s itinerary, (Particularly when the argument begins by contradicting historical sources that far predate the rise of the papacy.)

  • Dan Kempin

    I’m not annoyed, Grace. It just strikes me as an odd assertion, and an even odder thing to research and argue. Why would anyone really care whether Peter had been to Rome? I’ll pile on any argument against the power and primacy of the pope, of course, (we lutherans kind of started that), but I can come up with much better arguments than Peter’s itinerary, (Particularly when the argument begins by contradicting historical sources that far predate the rise of the papacy.)

  • Grace

    Dan Kempin @ 117

    “I’m not annoyed, Grace. It just strikes me as an odd assertion, and an even odder thing to research and argue. Why would anyone really care whether Peter had been to Rome?”

    The Vatican and the Pope’s state that Peter died and was buried in Rome. They cannot prove this, but they state it as fact, to strengthen their beliefs in a Pope. I wrote about the condition of Rome, the laws and rules in an earlier post on this thread. The Roman Church, ruled the people, they had no choice as to what they could or could not believe. “Traditions” ruled, if the RCC said so. See post 110 –

    It was Paul who wrote Romans, NOT Peter.

    15 Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God,

    16 That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.

    17 I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God.

    18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed,

    19 Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

    20 Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation:
    Romans 15

  • Grace

    Dan Kempin @ 117

    “I’m not annoyed, Grace. It just strikes me as an odd assertion, and an even odder thing to research and argue. Why would anyone really care whether Peter had been to Rome?”

    The Vatican and the Pope’s state that Peter died and was buried in Rome. They cannot prove this, but they state it as fact, to strengthen their beliefs in a Pope. I wrote about the condition of Rome, the laws and rules in an earlier post on this thread. The Roman Church, ruled the people, they had no choice as to what they could or could not believe. “Traditions” ruled, if the RCC said so. See post 110 –

    It was Paul who wrote Romans, NOT Peter.

    15 Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God,

    16 That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.

    17 I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God.

    18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed,

    19 Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

    20 Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation:
    Romans 15

  • Jacob C

    Here’s what the Roman Catholics say about whether Peter was in Rome.
    http://www.catholic.com/tracts/was-peter-in-rome
    One might take issue about whether the bishop of Rome should be above every other bishop, and that is a reasonable question. Of course one could be less than reasonable and dismiss all historical records as being mere tradition and worthless. Some fundamentalists might go that far in dismissing all extra-Biblical historical records, which is something that even the most tradition hating liberal might be reluctant to do.

  • Jacob C

    Here’s what the Roman Catholics say about whether Peter was in Rome.
    http://www.catholic.com/tracts/was-peter-in-rome
    One might take issue about whether the bishop of Rome should be above every other bishop, and that is a reasonable question. Of course one could be less than reasonable and dismiss all historical records as being mere tradition and worthless. Some fundamentalists might go that far in dismissing all extra-Biblical historical records, which is something that even the most tradition hating liberal might be reluctant to do.

  • Grace

    Jacob @119

    Interesting you should resort to using a Roman Catholic site, but it doesn’t surprise me.

    Why not ACCEPT all the “traditions” of the Roman Church, including Marion worship, prayers to the saints, believing the Pope should rule from the Vatican.

    WHY NOT?

    Or are you a Roman Catholic, in which case, you would agree with their unfounded, “traditions” of all stripes.

  • Grace

    Jacob @119

    Interesting you should resort to using a Roman Catholic site, but it doesn’t surprise me.

    Why not ACCEPT all the “traditions” of the Roman Church, including Marion worship, prayers to the saints, believing the Pope should rule from the Vatican.

    WHY NOT?

    Or are you a Roman Catholic, in which case, you would agree with their unfounded, “traditions” of all stripes.

  • Jacob

    Grace, life is not always all or nothing. I am not a Roman Catholic because I don’t see that that my works can contribute even just a little bit to my salvation. And I am not, say, a Baptist or Evangelical in the American sense because I do not think I have some little spark of uncorrupted goodness and I can will myself to have faith and make a decision for Christ. Also, I part ways with them when they say the Lord’s Supper or baptism are just symbols. And I don’t belong to a “liberal” church that tries to solve the sin problem by minimizing it.

    To me Lutheranism teaches the Gospel most plainly – in my natural state I am dead in my sins and I can’t help or save myself and I cannot cooperate with God, not even a little bit, not even when I am being “good”. So Jesus came to save us from our natural state, even while we were God’s enemies. That does not mean that I don’t think other churches don’t have the Gospel but I think they may teach things that obscure the Gospel to a greater or lesser extent. But that does not mean I reject everything the Catholic Church says or everything a Baptist says because I think they have some important things wrong. And you know what? Anyone who is saved is saved in spite of himself or herself – Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran or whatever.

  • Jacob

    Grace, life is not always all or nothing. I am not a Roman Catholic because I don’t see that that my works can contribute even just a little bit to my salvation. And I am not, say, a Baptist or Evangelical in the American sense because I do not think I have some little spark of uncorrupted goodness and I can will myself to have faith and make a decision for Christ. Also, I part ways with them when they say the Lord’s Supper or baptism are just symbols. And I don’t belong to a “liberal” church that tries to solve the sin problem by minimizing it.

    To me Lutheranism teaches the Gospel most plainly – in my natural state I am dead in my sins and I can’t help or save myself and I cannot cooperate with God, not even a little bit, not even when I am being “good”. So Jesus came to save us from our natural state, even while we were God’s enemies. That does not mean that I don’t think other churches don’t have the Gospel but I think they may teach things that obscure the Gospel to a greater or lesser extent. But that does not mean I reject everything the Catholic Church says or everything a Baptist says because I think they have some important things wrong. And you know what? Anyone who is saved is saved in spite of himself or herself – Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran or whatever.

  • Norman Teigen

    Thanks for asking, Helen. Sorry for the delay. This thread, incidentally, has really gotten far afield.

    I hope that you and many others will read Putnam and Robinson. The research is solid, I think. Solid research tells things the way they are and not the way that ideologues want things to be.

    This, from the book itself, is worthy of some serious consideration. “A growing number of Americans, especially young people, have come to disavow religion. For many, their aversion to religion is rooted in unease with the association between religion and conservative politics. If religion equals Republican, then they have decided that religion is not for them.”

    If this observation is true, and I think that it probably is, then it has some important implications for those of us of the conservative Lutheran stripe (I am an Evangelical Lutheran Synod layman). The young people are identifying the church with politics. Politics is concerned with partisanship and politics is concerned with the way humans conduct their business.

    President Harrison is known to have publicly stated that LC-MS is losing the young people. His action in the Affordable Health Care and that of the Indiana Seminary along with many others will have, I think, the further alienation of the young to the church. It’s called the Law of Unintended Consequences.

    My synodical President has apparently muted his public comments on the Affordable Care Act matter, and if this is so, I commend him for doing so. Making a political issue into a religious one is bad politics and bad religion. Religion dilutes itself when it gets into the public arena. The conservative Lutheran churches have stumbled badly on this one.

    Norman Teigen, Layman
    Evangelical Lutheran Synod

  • Norman Teigen

    Thanks for asking, Helen. Sorry for the delay. This thread, incidentally, has really gotten far afield.

    I hope that you and many others will read Putnam and Robinson. The research is solid, I think. Solid research tells things the way they are and not the way that ideologues want things to be.

    This, from the book itself, is worthy of some serious consideration. “A growing number of Americans, especially young people, have come to disavow religion. For many, their aversion to religion is rooted in unease with the association between religion and conservative politics. If religion equals Republican, then they have decided that religion is not for them.”

    If this observation is true, and I think that it probably is, then it has some important implications for those of us of the conservative Lutheran stripe (I am an Evangelical Lutheran Synod layman). The young people are identifying the church with politics. Politics is concerned with partisanship and politics is concerned with the way humans conduct their business.

    President Harrison is known to have publicly stated that LC-MS is losing the young people. His action in the Affordable Health Care and that of the Indiana Seminary along with many others will have, I think, the further alienation of the young to the church. It’s called the Law of Unintended Consequences.

    My synodical President has apparently muted his public comments on the Affordable Care Act matter, and if this is so, I commend him for doing so. Making a political issue into a religious one is bad politics and bad religion. Religion dilutes itself when it gets into the public arena. The conservative Lutheran churches have stumbled badly on this one.

    Norman Teigen, Layman
    Evangelical Lutheran Synod

  • Norman Teigen

    Editing note: Next to last paragraph of my post. I intended to say “…along with many others will have the effect, I think, of further alienation…..”

    Norman Teigen, Layman
    Evangelical Lutheran Synod

  • Norman Teigen

    Editing note: Next to last paragraph of my post. I intended to say “…along with many others will have the effect, I think, of further alienation…..”

    Norman Teigen, Layman
    Evangelical Lutheran Synod

  • Jacob

    N.T., But isn’t politics invading religion when religious organizations are forced to pay for health insurance that covers abortions? Isn’t politics invading religion when Christian groups at colleges are told that they must accept non- Christians as leaders?

    I believe and you might agree that the right confuses Christianity with a sort of moralistic nationalism. Also, the religious right seees morality mostly in terms of sexual morality. But at the end of the day we are left with the question, are we a society that kills people (the very young and very old) when they become inconvenient? Is this the way a good society acts? The left mostly evades this question, with its mixture of libertinism (not libertarianism) and a paternalistic authoritarianism. I think if Lutheranism can deal with Law/Gospel it should be able to show a different way, beyond mere moralism on one side or a “values free” libertinism on the other.

  • Jacob

    N.T., But isn’t politics invading religion when religious organizations are forced to pay for health insurance that covers abortions? Isn’t politics invading religion when Christian groups at colleges are told that they must accept non- Christians as leaders?

    I believe and you might agree that the right confuses Christianity with a sort of moralistic nationalism. Also, the religious right seees morality mostly in terms of sexual morality. But at the end of the day we are left with the question, are we a society that kills people (the very young and very old) when they become inconvenient? Is this the way a good society acts? The left mostly evades this question, with its mixture of libertinism (not libertarianism) and a paternalistic authoritarianism. I think if Lutheranism can deal with Law/Gospel it should be able to show a different way, beyond mere moralism on one side or a “values free” libertinism on the other.

  • Jacob

    Setting aside morality and religion, I think the big divide involves epistemology. The divide is between those who believe there is an objective reality, even if this reality cannot be perfectly known, and those who believe that reality is non-objective or at least unknowable. In other words, a divide between modernism and post-modernism.

    This idea hit me suddenly (maybe I am slow to catch on) when I heard advocates of same-sex marriage talk about a supposed right to “gender identity”. Of course, if everything is subjective, responsive to how you “identify” things, then even biology has no objective meaning. So male and female are essentially meaningless. So the battle over marriage goes beyond sexual morality to how you view reality itself. I think most “nones” or millennials are on the post-modernist side. That is all they have been taught and it would be hard for them to accept or even comprehend the idea that there is an external, objective reality. So how do we even begin to deal with that?

  • Jacob

    Setting aside morality and religion, I think the big divide involves epistemology. The divide is between those who believe there is an objective reality, even if this reality cannot be perfectly known, and those who believe that reality is non-objective or at least unknowable. In other words, a divide between modernism and post-modernism.

    This idea hit me suddenly (maybe I am slow to catch on) when I heard advocates of same-sex marriage talk about a supposed right to “gender identity”. Of course, if everything is subjective, responsive to how you “identify” things, then even biology has no objective meaning. So male and female are essentially meaningless. So the battle over marriage goes beyond sexual morality to how you view reality itself. I think most “nones” or millennials are on the post-modernist side. That is all they have been taught and it would be hard for them to accept or even comprehend the idea that there is an external, objective reality. So how do we even begin to deal with that?

  • Grace

    Speaking of “NONES”

    A cultist to deliver a “commencement address” to an Evangelical Christian University, this time, I’m more than shocked.

    Apr. 19, 2012

    Romney is Liberty University commencement speaker
    Associated Press – The Associated Press
    Read more here:

    WASHINGTON – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is set to deliver this year’s commencement address at Liberty University, the evangelical Christian institution founded by the late televangelist Jerry Falwell Sr.

    Romney, a Mormon, has never before visited the Lynchburg, Va., college.

    The university announced news of the May 12 commencement address on Thursday.

    http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2012/04/19/2488184/romney-is-liberty-university-commencement.html

    A short excerpt from the Liberty University “statement of faith”

    Liberty University

    The King’s PLAYERS Statement of Faith

    We affirm that each person can be saved only through the work of Jesus Christ, through repentance of sin and by faith alone in Him as Savior.

    http://www.liberty.edu/academics/communications/coms/index.cfm?pid=2329

    How does that statement connect with the one below:

    “This generation, however, is not left without a test. I have taught for thirty years, and still teach, that he that believeth in his heart and confesseth with his mouth that Jesus is the Christ and that Joseph Smith is his Prophet to this generation, is of God; and he that confesseth not that Jesus has come in the flesh and sent Joseph Smith with the fulness of the Gospel to this generation, is not of God, but is antichrist.

    President Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 9, p. 312 – made in the Bowery, Great Salt Lake City, July 13, 1862.

  • Grace

    Speaking of “NONES”

    A cultist to deliver a “commencement address” to an Evangelical Christian University, this time, I’m more than shocked.

    Apr. 19, 2012

    Romney is Liberty University commencement speaker
    Associated Press – The Associated Press
    Read more here:

    WASHINGTON – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is set to deliver this year’s commencement address at Liberty University, the evangelical Christian institution founded by the late televangelist Jerry Falwell Sr.

    Romney, a Mormon, has never before visited the Lynchburg, Va., college.

    The university announced news of the May 12 commencement address on Thursday.

    http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2012/04/19/2488184/romney-is-liberty-university-commencement.html

    A short excerpt from the Liberty University “statement of faith”

    Liberty University

    The King’s PLAYERS Statement of Faith

    We affirm that each person can be saved only through the work of Jesus Christ, through repentance of sin and by faith alone in Him as Savior.

    http://www.liberty.edu/academics/communications/coms/index.cfm?pid=2329

    How does that statement connect with the one below:

    “This generation, however, is not left without a test. I have taught for thirty years, and still teach, that he that believeth in his heart and confesseth with his mouth that Jesus is the Christ and that Joseph Smith is his Prophet to this generation, is of God; and he that confesseth not that Jesus has come in the flesh and sent Joseph Smith with the fulness of the Gospel to this generation, is not of God, but is antichrist.

    President Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 9, p. 312 – made in the Bowery, Great Salt Lake City, July 13, 1862.