Is modern Christianity REALLY biblical??

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Imperium
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Is modern Christianity REALLY biblical??

#1

Post by Imperium » Fri Jul 25, 2008 3:46 pm

We all know that the Christian religion is around 2000 years or so, but is the Christianity we follow today really that of the bible?? It all became a bit of a puzzle to me when I was accosted (there can be no better word) by a fiery pentecostal who said I wasn't really a Christian because I Catholocism isnt 'biblical'.

If Catholicism isn't biblical than doesnt that mean that by extention NO Christian denomination is?? For those of you who dont know (and i will make the fair assumption that most of you will) There was originally only ONE Christian church that fragmented once in the great Schism into East and West and over time both of those broke up, epecially the Catholic during the reformation.

But even the RCC isnt the original church,proto-Catholics just happened to be the strongest faction at the council of Nicaea in which the Church decided upon the composition of the bible (about which I will post about later), on heresy and orthodoxy and upon basic scriptual interpretation.

So i ask if anyone out there can tell me the grounds on which 'biblicality' is judged, or how we know we are 'biblical'
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Re: Is modern Christianity REALLY biblical??

#2

Post by YLTYLT » Mon Jul 28, 2008 9:03 am

First off, Christianity did not start with the birth or even the death of Christ. It started with the promise of a coming Messiah. (Of course it was not originally called Christianity.) The promise of a Messiah is first eluded to in Gen 3:15.
So Chrsitiananity is at least 6000 years old.

Old testament saints are saved the same way as people are today. They trusted in a Saviour. The only difference is we look back to the cross and they looked forward to the Cross.

But I will have to agree that Christianity "by name" did not start as a religion until sometime after the death of Christ. Some people view Christianity as a religion. But religion is about mans efforts to please God, so he can feel that he deserves to be called righteous. Christianity is about what God did for Man so that God can make men righteous.

So true Christianity is not a religion.

That being said....

We know we are biblical if it is in the Bible and not the teachings of men or the traditions of men or religion. Which much of the Catholic doctrine is based on traditions rather than Bible. I think this is one of the reasons for the reformation.

But the fact that a person calls themself Catholic has nothing to do whether or not they are Christian. Now if one knows what the Catholic Doctrines teach and agrees with all of them, then the chances are pretty good that one is not a Christian, even though one may profess to be. (see Math 7:21-22)

It really all depends on Whom you first trusted. A person is not a Christian If one is trusting in Church membership, or good works, or obedience to the sacraments or anything more than that Christ dies for us so that "Whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

I know several people that attend Catholic church, but I believe they are Christians, based on what they tell me they believe.
But the denomination (whether Methodist, Baptist, Presbytarian, etc....) that you attend has no bearing on whether you are a Christian of not. It is all based on an individual persons belief.

But beyond salvation some Christians believe different things that have nothing to do with salvation(justification) for instance some believe pre-trib rapture, some posttrib, some midtrib, some are preterist. While none of these beliefs are a determining factor as to being a Christian, only one (or none) can be Biblcal. So there can be beliefs that are unbiblical that Christians may have. But that does not make them not Christians unless its an unBiblical belief of how or why they are saved.

So to summarize if it is in the Bible then it is biblical. If not, then its not, simple as that.

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Re: Is modern Christianity REALLY biblical??

#3

Post by Byblos » Mon Jul 28, 2008 1:05 pm

YLTYLT wrote:Now if one knows what the Catholic Doctrines teach and agrees with all of them, then the chances are pretty good that one is not a Christian, even though one may profess to be. (see Math 7:21-22)
There are so many things I disagree with in your post but the above really tops the cake. So if one adheres to the teachings of the one church that claims to have its roots in Jesus and his apostles, claims to have received infallible guidance by the Holy Spirit as bestowed upon it by Jesus Himself, claims to be the bedrock of Christianity with Jesus as its cornerstone, responsible for putting together holy scripture as we know it (as least the NT) and keeping out of it heretical ideas, is not a Christian?

You know what, answer if you wish but it was really just a rhetorical question. :shakehead:
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Re: Is modern Christianity REALLY biblical??

#4

Post by JCSx2 » Mon Jul 28, 2008 1:05 pm

YLTYLT wrote:So to summarize if it is in the Bible then it is biblical. If not, then its not, simple as that.

Fair enough, says it all....
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Re: Is modern Christianity REALLY biblical??

#5

Post by ADifferentKindOf » Mon Jul 28, 2008 2:10 pm

Hmmmm...... I have a different take on this.

At the very end of the bible (no verse of the top of my head, but i'm sure you will recognize) a warning is written to anyone who tampers with the text of the bible itself and so.......

More important than who is right.......

And also what is accurate......

Is that God (knowing the true nature of man) knew these things would be an issue and I can't believe anyone would be denied the title Christian or salvation based on having the "wrong" bible. Despite what humans (fallible creatures) might say.

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Re: Is modern Christianity REALLY biblical??

#6

Post by YLTYLT » Mon Jul 28, 2008 3:41 pm

Byblos wrote:
YLTYLT wrote:Now if one knows what the Catholic Doctrines teach and agrees with all of them, then the chances are pretty good that one is not a Christian, even though one may profess to be. (see Math 7:21-22)
There are so many things I disagree with in your post but the above really tops the cake. So if one adheres to the teachings of the one church that claims to have its roots in Jesus and his apostles, claims to have received infallible guidance by the Holy Spirit as bestowed upon it by Jesus Himself, claims to be the bedrock of Christianity with Jesus as its cornerstone, responsible for putting together holy scripture as we know it (as least the NT) and keeping out of it heretical ideas, is not a Christian?

You know what, answer if you wish but it was really just a rhetorical question. :shakehead:
Byblos, I have read many of things that you believe. And from what I remember I do not doubt that your trust is only in Christ. But of all of the Catholic doctrine that I have read, it seems to indicate that works are needed in addition to grace to be saved. If I am wrong about the Catholic Doctrine, I do sincerely apologize. I have read many of your posts and I do not doubt your salvation, (but of course my opinion does not matter at all). You were one of several I had in mind when I said,
I know several people that attend Catholic church, but I believe they are Christians, based on what they tell me they believe.
Abbot Thomas Keating, that wrote "Crisis of Faith" is another example of a Catholic Christian. It is not a matter of church denomination. It is a matter of belief, and in whom a person trusts.

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Re: Is modern Christianity REALLY biblical??

#7

Post by Byblos » Tue Jul 29, 2008 9:12 am

YLTYLT wrote:Byblos, I have read many of things that you believe. And from what I remember I do not doubt that your trust is only in Christ. But of all of the Catholic doctrine that I have read, it seems to indicate that works are needed in addition to grace to be saved. If I am wrong about the Catholic Doctrine, I do sincerely apologize. I have read many of your posts and I do not doubt your salvation, (but of course my opinion does not matter at all). You were one of several I had in mind when I said,
I know several people that attend Catholic church, but I believe they are Christians, based on what they tell me they believe.
Abbot Thomas Keating, that wrote "Crisis of Faith" is another example of a Catholic Christian. It is not a matter of church denomination. It is a matter of belief, and in whom a person trusts.

YLT,

I thank you for the sentiment, truly. You and I probably agree more (on a host of issues religious) than we disagree. I made it a mission, in fact, to shed light on Catholicism in reformation circles, precisely because there are so many so-called disagreements and misunderstandings, particularly with fundamental issues such as salvation (the process of justification and sanctification). These disagreements are more and more being bridged as of late when we decided to sit down together and talk like adults. But differences persist nonetheless.

Let me try to summarize the Catholic belief as taught to me by the Catholic Church. Once again I have to say this, I do not offer these as points of debate, merely to state what we believe. Let the private interpretations fall where they may.

1. Our salvation is by the grace of God, given to us as a free gift through his son Jesus Christ. Nothing we can do to earn it.
2. Christ is the second person of the Trinity and is the only pathway to salvation.
3. He was incarnated, was crucified, died and was resurrected for the forgiveness of our sins, and so we can be reconciled to the Father
4. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the blessed Trinity
5. We believe faith is also a free gift from God. Whether or not we choose to use that gift is up to us. In other words, we need to cooperate with the free gift, much like intellectual assent is a requirement for simple belief (unless one leans to total depravity, in which case we're both on the same side anyway).
6. We believe the processes of justification and sanctification are closely connected and are lifelong processes (this is perhaps where the biggest difference we have still lies, OSAS or not).
7. We are NOT justified by works of the law. When justified, we are infused with the Holy Spirit and are then equipped to do works of love and charity as an outward sign of our faith (with merits but no salvific value).
8. We do NOT consider the sacraments as works. They are also free gifts from God, instituted by Christ himself (baptism, communion, repentance and reconciliation, holy orders, etc.) and designed to keep us walking the path of Christ as He, Himself instructed us to do. In other words, we believe one can reject the free gift by rejecting the sacraments or willfully committing grave acts against God.
9. We believe the Catholic church IS the church established by Christ Himself, that was promised guidance from the Holy Spirit and protection against the gates of hell (hence, the church is the final authority on scripture interpretation).
10. More importantly, we believe scripture is the inspired, inerrant Word of God. To a lesser extent, we also hold to Oral Traditions (Traditions handed down through the apostles, not man-made traditions as some erroneously assume).

This, in a nutshell, is pretty much what the Catholic faith is and how Christianity as we know it was started and has been for the last 2,000 years. Every one of the above points is rooted in scripture (like you say, if it's in scripture then it's biblical, right? :wink:). The fact that the church (some individuals and yes, even popes) made mistakes doesn't mean the church isn't what it claims to be nor does it mean it is no longer guided by the Holy Spirit. It just means that guidance is also a life-long process and should be viewed in light of the church's historical totality.

One cannot say if one believes all what the Catholic Church teaches then one is not Christian. Given its foundation and history, we believe the church has first dibs on defining what a Christian is.

In Christ,

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Re: Is modern Christianity REALLY biblical??

#8

Post by YLTYLT » Wed Jul 30, 2008 7:47 am

Byblos,

It sounds like you attend a great church, that teaches their members well. And I am trying to be completely sincere when I say that If I am wrong about the Catholic doctrine, I completety apologize. I am just coming from my experiences and from what I ahve been told by Catholics that I have known (not just members but priests) and the Catholic doctrine I have read.

That being said, I have known of pastors from many different "Christian" denominations teach unBiblical doctrine as well. So no denomination has exclusivity to the ability to be right or wrong. I will think further on this to make sure I have not misunderstood Catholic Doctrine.

:eugeek: :ebiggrin: y:-?

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Re: Is modern Christianity REALLY biblical??

#9

Post by Daniel » Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:45 pm

I've honestly been a bit bothered by this myself. Jesus said that the church wouldn't die, but the fact is that what we have now was not around for the first 1500 years, so I've been wondering if this means by default that Catholicism or Orthodoxy has to be correct. I do think that Protestantism is best defended on Biblical grounds, though.

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Re: Is modern Christianity REALLY biblical??

#10

Post by rodyshusband » Sun Aug 03, 2008 5:30 pm

We need to remember that the "church" Christ referred to were followers of Christ.
I know saved people in the Roman Catholic church today. Also, Malcolm Muggeridge joined the Roman Catholic church after he was saved and Oscar Wilde called for a priest to repent and turn away from his sins.
There is no "church" today that I can think of that is infallible.
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Re: Is modern Christianity REALLY biblical??

#11

Post by Byblos » Mon Aug 04, 2008 6:42 am

rodyshusband wrote:There is no "church" today that I can think of that is infallible.
That would make Jesus a liar.
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

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Re: Is modern Christianity REALLY biblical??

#12

Post by B. W. » Mon Aug 04, 2008 7:32 am

Imperium wrote:We all know that the Christian religion is around 2000 years or so, but is the Christianity we follow today really that of the bible?? It all became a bit of a puzzle to me when I was accosted (there can be no better word) by a fiery pentecostal who said I wasn't really a Christian because I Catholocism isnt 'biblical'....So i ask if anyone out there can tell me the grounds on which 'biblicality' is judged, or how we know we are 'biblical'...
I Corinthians chapter 12 define the Church very well. It is made up of many members but not all members have the same function. Should the eye say to the foot, “Since you are not an eye therefore you are not part of the body because you are not an eye?”

This appears to me to be the state of the church today as it was back when Paul wrote I Corinthians. The First Church of Apllos disagrees with the Church of Paul etc and etc.

This is how I understand this matter: Basically there are two sections of each mainline Church affiliation categorized as Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant. Each has within their frame different types of individual church communities. Each has an Imperial part and the Believer part. For example, there is the Imperial Eastern Orthodox Church and believer Orthodox. There is the Imperial Roman Catholic Church and the believer Roman Catholic. There is the Imperial Protestant Church and believer Protestant.

If you look at Revelations Chapters 2-3 where it speaks of the 7 Churches, you'll see the Imperial and Believer part mentioned. People are told to turn away from the Imperial and be Believer's again.

It is unfortunate that many believer Protestants consign the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Church as all members belonging to that 'Imperial class' I mentioned. This has come about as recorded in Church History: The Imperial Church persecutions chronicled in Church history of each other caused this.

The Imperial Church is a blend of state and Church for the purpose of geographic expansion and solidifying State (Monarch control) of a populace in the same manner false gods were used before for such purposes.

What we need to realize is that there are Believer parts of Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant church heritage that are not and do not belong to the Imperial. The Imperial stains the name of the Believer Parts. Once one begins to see the difference between the Believer and Imperial, one discovers the that the true Church Universal follows Christ, its members are 'all works in progress' being transformed to be a reflection of how Christ was on earth.

The Believer Church is made up of many members and all do not have the same functions. They do not gain public notoriety as their works are not broadcast for all to see. We, each as members, help our families, raise our children, take care of those around as God leads one day and step at a time. With each step we are being transformed in a new creation in Christ. That is the Believer Church (whether it be Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant traditons) — has not changed since Jesus walked this earth in human from.
Imperium wrote:So i ask if anyone out there can tell me the grounds on which 'biblicality' is judged, or how we know we are 'biblical'
Answer — those being transformed to love one another as Christ so loved. First at home, then our local assemblies, and then toward those outside.
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Re: Is modern Christianity REALLY biblical??

#13

Post by Byblos » Mon Aug 04, 2008 7:23 pm

B. W. wrote:the true Church Universal follows Christ, its members are 'all works in progress' being transformed to be a reflection of how Christ was on earth.
And it is that catholic/universal church that is infallible, despite its splits, splinters, and schisms. It has survived, even expanded since the resurrection and will survive until Christ returns. It was His promise that it be protected against the gates of hell and I for one believe in him and his promises. No matter how serious our differences are, we are always united in Christ.

Amen B.W.
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Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

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Re: Is modern Christianity REALLY biblical??

#14

Post by RWortman » Mon Aug 04, 2008 9:13 pm

Greetings All

If I followed your posts correctly, the thread seemed concerned primarily with deciphering the historical development and authenticity of the Christian Church with reference to the Bible, particularly where there is both actual and apparent denominational differing over defining the Church, discerning whether an idea or belief is Biblical or even "Christian", and distiguishing between "modern" Christianity and historic or traditional Christianity with respect to the Bible.

So I'll start with the Bible, as this must be the single point of reference for speaking Biblically. When orthodox Biblical Christians speak of the Bible, regardless of our denomination, we agree to refer to the 66 canonized books of the Bible - both the Old and New Testament taken together. (Catholics speak of and Anglicans sometimes also refer to a collection of appendices known as the Apochrypha, which they consider scripture, but are not actually part of the canon). The canon of scripture was not arbitrarily determned by any single council, and especially not the council of Nicea, which took place in the 400's AD. That remains, more or less, an urban legend.

Since Christianity has it's roots in Judaism ( Jesus was, of course, a Jew) the writings of the Hebrew patriarchs and prophets were subsumed almost entirley verbatim as the Old Testament portion of the Bible. Literary analysis reveals that, when compared to the oldest original manuscripts, our modern Bible translations are greater than 99% textually accurate. The Christian version just re-arranges the order of the books. The writings accepted into the New Testament canon were developed arduously and methodically over the intervening centuries between the deaths of the Apostles and the Council of Nicea. Strict rules were applied to its development; e.g., the writings had to be authenticated by the Church fathers as first hand accounts authored by either one of the Apostles who physically met Christ or a close companion and contemporary of an Apostle; they had to be intrinsically consistent with each other in revelation, theoligical perspective, and doctrine; etc.. In fact, most of the writings finally canonized were already widely accepted and regarded as inspired scripture by the time of Nicea. All but a handful of the Bishops gathered at Nicea agreed on them and those few who did not, like Arias, where already well known to have departed from the essentials of Christian faith handed down from the Apostles.The Bible was then was at it is now, with the exception of the languages into which it has been translated.

However, not all interpretations are created equal and that is where we run into denominational differences. The key is unity in the essentials, grace in the non-essentials. As BW, Byblos, and others have alluded Jesus himself defined His Church as His body, the corporate body of His disciples of all generations from all nations, for all eternity - the Church Universal. To orthodox Christians the Church is not a building, a place, or a particular denomination. It is the collective of all, living, dead, and yet to be born who have believed in Him alone, through Faith alone, by the Grace of God alone, trusting in and depending on His atoning sacrificial death and resurrection alone for redemption from sin and fulfillment of the promise of eternal life with Him. That is Biblical, and that in essence is Christianity - a relationship with our living and risen Savior, not a religion.

Hope that helps.

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Re: Is modern Christianity REALLY biblical??

#15

Post by Byblos » Tue Aug 05, 2008 6:41 am

RWortman,

Very few points of contention but all in all, I am in general agreement with your post. Nicely said.

And welcome to the board.

Byblos.
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

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