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Jan 27

A Wicked and False Religion?

Like I said, the Church has PR problems. Rand, of A Pattern of Sound Words, asserts:

"A Christian Roman Catholic, to me, is as opposite as a Nazi Jew. One cannot be a follower of Christ and be a follower of Romanism at the same time. Why? Because the Romanist worships a god different than the God of the Bible. For example, consider the 2nd person of the Trinity, the Lord Jesus Christ:"

"Romanism – Jesus was born of a sinless, perfect mother, who is declared the 'Queen of Heaven'.
Biblical Christinity – Jesus was born of a kind, godly woman, but still a sinner by birth and choice (Luke 1:26-38)."

The best explanation I have ever heard for Mary's sinless conception was from a Rabbi. The Ark of the Covenant was the seat of God on earth. It could only be safely approached and touched by ritually clean priests at certain times of the year. Mary was the ark of the New Covenant, Jesus Christ (Matthew 26:26-28). Her preservation from Original Sin, as well as actual sin, does not, as some suggest, imply that she did not need Christ's saving grace, made possible by the cross. God is not bound by time. He created it. Thus, Mary received at her conception the saving grace of Christ's sacrifice.

"Romanism – Jesus did not have half-brothers and half-sisters."
Biblical Christianity – Mary and Joseph had sons and daughters after the birth of Christ (Luke 8:20)."

The Hebrew and Aramaic words for "brother" and "sister" have broader meaning than most modern languages. There are frequent uses of those words to mean "cousin", "uncle/aunt", or even the incredibly vague "relative". There are frequent uses of the imprecise meanings of those words in the Old Testament. I don't know them off the top of my head. Perhaps one of my readers can help out. You may ask, though, "Since the New Testament was written in Greek, shouldn't the Greek forms of those words mean precisely what they say?" It is not uncommon for a speaker/writer of a second language to use idiomatic expressions and/or words meanings from his primary language. There are examples of this phenomenon as well, but I must again appeal to my readers for references.

"Romanism – Jesus died for all of mankind, Christian or not.
Biblical Christianity – Jesus died for HIS SHEEP; there is no condemnation only for those who are IN CHRIST (John 10:11; Romans 8:1)."

Salvation is a free gift offered to all mankind. However, we must choose to accept it. We are condemned if we reject it. We are saved if we accept it.

"Romanism – Jesus made Peter the 1st pope (the leader of the so-called Roman Catholic church), to act as a representative for God on the Earth.
Biblical Christianity – Jesus is the only mediator between man and God there is no place for popes or priests (1 Timothy 2:5)."

"And Jesus answered him, 'Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter [Greek for rock], and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.' " – Matthew 16:17-19

"Romanism – Jesus was a long-haired, bearded, skinny guy.
Biblical Christianity – Jesus knew that it was shameful for a man to have long hair, so he had short hair (1 Corinthians 11:14)."

Now this is just silly. First century Jewish culture and 21st century American or European culture bear little resemblance to each other. In Jesus' time, it was not uncommon for men to wear their hair to their shoulders. That was still considered short because women often had hair to their buttocks or lower. Besides, if you're going anathematize Roman Catholics for depicting Jesus with "long hair", etc, then you're going to have to send a whole lot of Protestants packing with them. Granted, I'm not fond of seeing Jesus looking less like a 1st century Jew from Nazareth and more like a Caucasian hippy, but it's hardly an issue to be damned over.

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